Mojo Octopus

Mojo Octopus

Octopus is great barbecued, especially after a bath in this delicious Cuban-inspired mojo marinade. Unlike most seafood, octopus (and its cephalopod cousins squid and cuttlefish) can be marinated overnight, though a few hours at room temperature will do if you’re short on time. Prawns work well with this versatile marinade too and are best cooked in the shell. Split them down the back to remove the digestive tract and allow the marinade to get in but only marinate for an hour or so otherwise the citrus will ‘cook’ their delicate flesh; grill them for about 3 minutes on the shell side only, just until the flesh is opaque almost all the way through (see video below).

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 360g baby octopus, cleaned
  • 1 slice orange, halved (reserved from Mojo Marinade)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Coriander sprigs, for garnishing

 

Mojo Marinade

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 lime
  • 1 orange
Method
  1. Make Mojo Marinade: place oil, garlic, oregano, pepper and salt in the jug of a stick blender. Zest half the lime over it, then juice it and add to the jug. Zest half the orange over it then reserve a slice for presentation, juice the rest and add to the jug. Use a stick blender to combine well.
  2. Cut octopus tentacles into quarters.
  3. Place tentacles and head in a container with the Mojo Marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge an hour or so before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
  4. Preheat a char-grill pan or barbecue to medium-high heat.
  5. Remove octopus from the marinade and set aside.
  6. Transfer marinade to a small saucepan, place over a medium heat and simmer until reduced to a saucy consistency.
  7. Meanwhile, place octopus on the grill.
  8. Cook for about 2 minutes each side (depending on thickness).
  9. Remove to a warm platter and set aside.
  10. Brush orange with oil and grill for a minute or so each side, until lightly marked.
  11. Garnish mojo octopus with orange and coriander.
  12. Drizzle with some of the marinade and serve with remaining marinade on the side.

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