octopus salad

Kurita salad at its crawling and sucking best.
Like squid, octopus (kurita, pugita), besides being a good catch for a delicious kurita adobo and other sumptous dishes, is also a perfect specimen for a good salad dish or a kind of a ceviche (a sort of kilawen-like delicacy).

I pick medium and or small size octopi for my salad, preferably the smaller ones, babies, if I chance upon them fresh in the wet market, some still alive from Aparri or Sta. Ana (Cagayan).

What I simply do is to boil/steam the kurita quickly in its own juice/ink, with some crushed garlic and cracked peppercorn, and some salt. Don't add water, just let the octopus' own liquid steam itself into perfection. Put off fire after about 15 minutes or so, you can see its done almost by the color and texture. Don't ever overcook it or your octopus will become so tough like rubber or plastic. Just a mild cooking to retain its tenderness and succulence.

Now, cut the cooked kurita into bite pieces. Discard some of the ink and other innards in its head/belly. Retain some ink liquid as a sauce if you want (the black broth is tasty and optionally, you can turn it into a beautiful black soup by adding water and more spices and boiling it).

And it's done! This is my kurita salad, I garnished it with sliced tomatoes, chopped onions, salt & pepper, and dressed it with a vinaigrette of some apple cider, a little honey, a little olive oil. This is so good with a freezing beer or a brandy on the rocks! And of course with a steaming rice...