As you know Japan is an island nation surrounded by bodies of water. With this abundance of water, the Japanese have learned to enjoy many seafood that are not typically served in other cultures. One of those strange creatures is octopus and it is also my my main ingredient today.
Octopus is a fairly common food in Japan and found sometimes in other ethnic dish such as Mediterranean cuisine. We don’t eat often but it’s one of ingredients that we use for Sushi, Takoyaki, and octopus salad called Tako Su (たこ酢).
This octopus salad is actually very easy to make yourself if you are able to find some sashimi/sushi-grade octopus (タコ刺身) in a Japanese grocery store. Even though we call it sashimi/sushi-grade octopus, it actually has been boiled already. The texture is a bit chewy, but when sliced thin, it can be consumed easily by adults.
I know octopus may not be for everyone but I hope you will give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.
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- ¼ lb. sashimi/sushi-grade octopus
- ⅓ English cucumber (or 1 Japanese Cucumber)
- ½ Tbsp. dried seaweed (wakame)
- ½ Tbsp. roasted white sesame seeds
- 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. white sesame seeds
- Slice the octopus very thinly.
- Alternately peel a ½-inch-side strip lengthwise, leaving a strip of the skin intact. With this method, the cucumber slices have some decorative dark green accents and a little bit of extra crunchiness. Cut the cucumber into small pieces (I use Japanese cutting Technique called " Rangiri")
- In a small bowl, soak the dried seaweed in warm water. Let it soak for 15 minutes. Drain and squeeze liquid out. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for Vinaigrette.
- Add the cucumber, octopus, seaweed, and sesame seeds and toss all together. Chill in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes and ready to serve.