Asian Octopus Recipe

Punchy Asian Octopus Recipe

I adore seafood, and I particularly love Asian seafood. In my attempts to sample as many seafood dishes (check out our chinese scallop recipe) as I possibly could, I found myself coming across a delicious Korean dish that used octopus as the main ingredient – and it was amazing!

Now I understand that seafood is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially when it is made using slightly unconventional ingredients. But I am here to show you that even octopus can be amazing when it is well-seasoned and correctly prepared. 

The recipe I have chosen to share with you today comes from Korea and it involves cooking the octopus in a sweet and smoky Korean barbecue sauce.

Not only is this octopus dish delicious, but it is bursting with flavor and can be served with a refreshing and delectable bok choy slaw. 

So why not take a look at the recipe down below and see if this is one seafood ( our delicious Chinese Seafood Delight Recipe is a must for you) dish you are ready to make. 

Step One: Prepare The Octopus

I understand that the idea of preparing a fresh octopus from home can be a tad daunting, but it is a lot easier than you might think.

Fresh octopus can be purchased from most speciality grocery stores, and can even be bought from certain fishmongers and international markets. 


  • Octopus (x1, cleaned – with beak and ink sack removed)
  • Water (8 cups)
  • Fresh Ginger (x1 2-inch piece, sliced)
  • Lemongrass Stalk (x1)
  • Small Yellow Onion (x1, halved)
  • Lime (x1, halved)
  • Serrano Pepper (x1, halved)
  • Soy Sauce (1 cup)
  • Whole Peppercorns (1 tsp)
  • Whole Coriander (1 ½ tsp)
  • Allspice (1 tsp)
  • Star Anise Pods (x3)
  • Kosher Salt (2 tsp)


  1. To begin the recipe, you will need to take the octopus and use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to slice the tentacles away from the head. You can do this by cutting the area where the tentacles come together, just above the beak. You can then separate the tentacles or keep them together. 
  2. Next, take a large pot or dutch oven and fill it with 8 cups of water. When you have done this you can add the ginger, lemongrass stalk, yellow onion, lime, serrano pepper, soy sauce, peppercorns, coriander, allspice, star anise pods and kosher salt. 
  3. Stir the liquid until the ingredients have fully combined and then add in the prepared octopus tentacles. Place the bot over medium-high heat and allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the octopus is tender when pierced with a knife. 
  4. If you intend to cook a large number of octopi – then you will need to cook each octopus for the appropriate 15-20 minutes. Overall, this process can take 45-60 minutes to fully complete. 
  5. When the octopus is soft to the touch, turn off the heat and allow the fish to rest in the liquid at room temperature. You must make sure that the octopus is fully submerged during this process. 
  6. After the octopus has cooled, remove it from the liquid and pat away the excess moisture with a paper towel. You will also need to peel away any fatty layer that may have congealed on the meat. 
  7. Once you have finished doing this, place the octopus on a plate and chill it in the refrigerator until the grilling process. The octopus can be prepped for up to 3 days ahead.)

Step Two: Make The Barbecue Sauce


  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (tbsp)
  • Garlic Cloves (x4, chopped)
  • Lemongrass stalk (x1, chopped)
  • Hoisin Sauce (½ cup)
  • Chilli Garlic Sauce (2 tbsp)
  • Honey (2 tbsp)
  • Lime Juice (1 ½ tbsp)
  • Fish Sauce (1 tbsp)
  • Soy Sauce (1 tbsp)
  • Rice Vinegar (1 tbsp)
  • Chinese Five Spice (½ tsp)
  • Water (¼ cup for thinning)


  1. To start making the Korean barbecue sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. Add the lemongrass, garlic and ginger to the pan – saute until fragrant for about 2 minutes. 
  3. When combined, add the hoisin sauce, chilli garlic sauce, honey, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar and Chinese five-spice. Stir until incorporated and then allow to simmer for 5 minutes. 
  4. If the sauce is thick, you can add water to thin it out to a more desired consistency. But this is optional and will depend mainly on your preferences. 

Step Three: Make The Bok Choy Slaw


  • Toasted Sesame Oil (¼ cup)
  • Rice Vinegar (3 tbsp)
  • Honey (1 tbsp)
  • Kosher Salt (1 ½ tsp)
  • Baby Bok Choy (x1, thinly sliced)
  • Carrots (½ cup, julienne)
  • Radish (½ cup, julienne)
  • Green Onion (¼ cup, thinly sliced)
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds (for garnish)


  1. To begin making your bok choy slaw, take a small bowl and add in the toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey and salt. 
  2. Mix the ingredients until well combined and then set aside for later use. 
  3. Take the baby bok choy and green onion and thinly slice them with a shark kitchen knife. 
  4. Next, take the carrots and radish and julienne, before setting them aside with the green onions and bok choy. 
  5. Add the bok choy, green onion, carrot and radish to a large bowl and add in the sesame oil dressing. 
  6. Toss the slaw and dressing together and then transfer to a bowl. When ready to serve, garnish with sesame seeds. 

Step Four: Grill The Octopus


  1. To grill the octopus, take the tentacles out of the refrigerator and add them to a well-oiled grill. The octopus should be cooked on medium-high or high heat. 
  2. Once the tentacles are on the grill, allow them to cook while also brushing them with the Korean barbecue sauce. Do this 2-3 times during the grilling process, making sure to turn the tentacles every few minutes. 
  3. When the tentacles are ready, they should be well-charred and have a vibrant, sticky glaze. 
  4. Serve the octopus tentacles on a large plate and drizzle with the remaining barbecue sauce – or transfer the remaining sauce to a small bowl for dipping. 
  5. The barbecued octopus tentacles can be garnished with limes and fresh cilantro leaves for a touch of zest. 
  6. Place the bok choy slaw in a small bowl and then sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds for garnish – serve alongside the octopus. 

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