To be honest, I am not 100% sure that what you see here are, in fact baby octopuses. It said so on the package, but, for all I know they are the adults of a very small species. Thus far, though, the only sort I have cooked at home from fresh have been much larger sorts and so I bought a couple of packages when I saw them in my local supermarket freezer cabinet.
These little guys are only 5 or 6 inches long overall (the red thing in the corner of the picture is the handle of a pairing knife, for comparison’s sake). If you recall my previous ‘Foodstuff’ post on Octopus, the larger sort generally require a bit of tenderizing before being cooked. I figured, however, that these tiny ones can probably be fried or grilled without any other preparation. I decided to try a simple deep-fry to test…
I could have done a heavy batter here, but, instead, I decided to just dust the octopuses with seasoned cornstarch. Here, I just added a pinch of garlic salt, some crushed red chili, and ground cumin seed.
After dusting the whole octopuses, I deep-fried them two at a time on oil heated to medium. They took about 5 minutes each for a first fry, and then, after draining them, I cooked all of them together a second time to make them nicely golden and crispy. The last step only took about a minute or so.
I kept service simple and just plated them with a little shredded lettuce and a lemon wedge. The flavor and tenderness really hit the spot for me and I probably could have eaten a dozen of the little buggers 😊