How Do I Prepare an Octopus to Make Sashimi?

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Fresh octopus is known as tako in Japanese cooking.
Fresh octopus is known as tako in Japanese cooking. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If you are looking to prepare sashimi at home, octopus might be one of the dishes you are considering. Learning how to prepare octopus for sashimi requires some time and patience, but is well worth it when you are enjoying its interesting texture and delicious flavor. Sashimi is a Japanese preparation of fresh fish and seafood, usually raw, served as the first course in a traditional meal. Sashimi is served with a variety of condiments, but without rice.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 to 5 pounds of octopus
  • Kombu
  • 2 ounces sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. sea salt
  • Grated daikon
  • Large pot
  • Tongs
  • Oven mitts
  • Knife
  • Cutting board

Place a large pot of water on the stove and turn to medium-high heat. Add a few small pieces of kombu, which is a type of seaweed that you can buy at natural food stores. Add 2 ounces of sea salt to the pot. Bring to a boil.

Thaw octopus if it is frozen. Rinse and drain it whether it is frozen or not. Rub the octopus with a handful of grated daikon and 2 tbsp. of sea salt. This helps to clean it. Turn the octopus inside out and wash away any remaining slime or innards. Place the octopus right side out.

Pick the octopus up using tongs and place it into the boiling water. Lift it out quickly. Repeat this two or three times. Lower the temperature of the water to medium-low and place the octopus back into the water. Allow to simmer for five to 10 minutes.

Turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid. Allow to sit on the stove for one hour until the water cools. Place the lidded pot into the refrigerator overnight.

Take the octopus out of the water and allow it to dry. Slice off the tentacles near the head. Cut the tentacles at an angle to give them the traditional frilly sashimi look. The tentacles might be hard near the head, and the head itself might be difficult to eat, so you can throw those portions away if they are too tough. Serve the sashimi with soy sauce and pickled ginger.

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