Easy Japanese Recipes

Octopus Salad (Tako Su) たこ酢

Octopus Salad (Takosu) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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).

Octopus Salad (Takosu) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
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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Octopus Salad (Tako Su)
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
  • 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
  1. Slice the octopus very thinly.
  2. Cut the cumber into small pieces (I use Japanese cutting Technique called " Rangiri")
  3. In a small bowl, soak the dried seaweed in warm water. Let it soak for 15 minutes. Drain and squeeze liquid out. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for Vinaigrette.
  5. Add the cucumber, octopus, seaweed, and sesame seeds and toss all together. Chill in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes and ready to serve.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.
Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Appetizers, Healthy Recipes, Quick & Easy, Salads, Seafood, Side Dishes

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  • Manu June 20, 2011, 3:39 am

    We eat octopus too… it is quite common in Italy and I like it a lot! We make octopus salad too and even though the ingredients are quite different we have vinegar in common! I find it amazing that such different cuisines still have similarities (like the potato salad)!!! <3

  • Maris (In Good Taste) June 20, 2011, 3:57 am

    I have nver had octpus nor desired it, but looking at this beautful dish, that may change!

  • Mr. Three-Cookies June 20, 2011, 4:10 am

    Do you guys also eat live octopus like they do in Korea?

  • Lyn June 20, 2011, 4:14 am

    I seldom eat octopus and the most I can eat is about 2-3 coz of the texture of the octopus(??) I don’t really know how to describe LOL but my husband loves them! He’ll finished up everything! :D
    Maybe I’ll like this octopus salad as they’re sliced thinly. :)

  • Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen June 20, 2011, 4:30 am

    I think I’ve eaten octopus in Japanese restaurants several times before but to be honest, Nami, I’d be too scared to prepare it myself at home! Those tentacles look so big and intimidating ;-). Thanks for showing us the steps, though, in case I can muster up the courage to do this in my home someday.

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover June 20, 2011, 5:28 am

    I ate octopus sashimi in Japanese restaurant before, quite nice and chewy. Yours look better than those served in Jap. restaurant, YUM!

  • kat June 20, 2011, 5:47 am

    another of my favorites :) especially in summer

  • Giulietta @ Alterkitchen June 20, 2011, 7:45 am

    I love octopus (but you already know that), especially in salad with potatoes or octopus carpaccio… this would be a new way to make it! :)

  • Raymund June 22, 2011, 12:03 am

    I love octopus but tried them only on two items, takoyaki and some stir fried noodles. This will be an new recipe added to my knowledge.
    BTW that plate looks gorgeous

  • Tanvi@SinfullySpicy June 22, 2011, 12:09 am

    We have a south asian store near my house where they sell all sorts of live seafood- you can choose the fish you want & they ll cut & clean for you.I have seen octopus there. As far as seafood goes I m a fish & shrimp person, but gorgeous color with veggies & sesame garnish!

  • chinmayie @ love food eat June 22, 2011, 12:39 am

    salad looks beautiful! I don’t think i will ever eat it but that doesn’t mean that i don’t appreciate it!

  • purabi June 22, 2011, 1:26 am

    Hi, Nami. I am following you on Twitter now. You are such a dear friend now!
    I know, some people do not like the sight of the octopus. Me, too, till I came to Hong Kong. My husband once tasted octopus in a Japanese restaurant here and he loved it! It was an octopus sashimi salad too, but a different one.
    I am open to experiment and you know that. I simply love Japanese food and I have seen octopus salad bentos in Japanese food counters in superstores here. They look delicious!! I think, I should start cooking octopus at home now, STARTING WITH YOUR RECIPE!

  • Holly June 22, 2011, 5:37 am

    I don’t think Id dare eat octopus! Lol But this salad sure looks beautiful!!

  • Tiffany June 22, 2011, 6:00 am

    One word… Mmmm :D This dish is definitely for me! We called this pulpo growing up (Spanish for octopus). I love all of the colors! Happy Wednesday!

  • Kelly June 22, 2011, 6:10 am

    Nami, this is so beautiful and innovative. I really enjoy your posts.

  • Sandy June 22, 2011, 6:25 am

    Yummy!!! I found out there is a small Japanese grocery store about 15 miles away from my home. I guess I have to go shopping for raw salmon and octopus. :) Thanks for sharing this recipe. I really love your blog.


  • Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen June 22, 2011, 6:26 am

    This sounds great and exotic!

  • Sissi June 22, 2011, 6:59 am

    Nami, I am one of those strange people who adore octopus, it’s available frozen all year round, so I simply have to learn to cook it properly! Then I can try your beautiful, healthy salad. (I already have such a loooong list of your dishes I want to try!)
    By the way, I love the bowl!

  • Kate@Diethood June 22, 2011, 7:34 am

    The salad is gorgeous! I don’t know if I would ever be brave enough to eat octopus, but if it looks that good, I might just give it a try. :))

  • nisha June 22, 2011, 8:41 am

    hi nami…thanks for those beautiful words on my blog…u have such an impressive space here..m totally loving it :)

  • Tina (PinayInTexas) June 22, 2011, 11:32 am

    I haven’t tried eating octopus, Nami…but after seeing your Tako Su, I want to try it! The colors of the cucumber and octopus blended so well and made your salad so appealing!

  • Adora's Box June 22, 2011, 11:41 am

    We love octopus, although, yeah, they can give the old jaw too much exercise. We always jokingly say, should’ve ordered tamago instead. But that’s what octopus, squid and cuttlefish are. They aren’t called chewing gum of the Orientals for nothing. What a beautiful salad that is.

  • Kim - Liv Life June 22, 2011, 12:09 pm

    My Japanese friend, Naomi, has made octopus for us, but I just couldn’t do it. Your photo is ever so tempting… but I’m just not sure!! She loves octopus and eel.

  • Christine June 22, 2011, 12:11 pm

    I have never tried eating Octopus.

  • Gourmantine June 22, 2011, 12:29 pm

    This is really my kind of dish! I love octopus! When I was in Spain a few months ago, they were serving Galician style octopus in almost every restaurant and since then I’ve been so craving for things with octopus! Wonderfully done Nami :)

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking June 22, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I can’t say that I ever ate octopus but in our Mediterranean cuisine is very common as a main dish as well. My husband like it a lot, but I am not fan at all; however you made it so beautifully and I love your photos!

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) June 22, 2011, 2:25 pm

    This is may favorite Japanese salad maybe – I had it at a restaurant and then created it at home (it had fresh garlic as well), and I totally loved it. Thanks for reminding me I haven’t had it in a while! :D

  • tigerfish June 22, 2011, 2:27 pm

    I do like the crunchy texture of this salad! almost everything is crunchy – the octopus, the cucumber….

  • Lindsey@Lindselicious June 22, 2011, 3:11 pm

    Mmm the combo of tako and cucumber sounds good! I’m used to eating it Hawaii Japanese way- with soy sauce, sugar, chili pepper, green onion, sesame seed oil…
    I need to try your way.

  • Happy When Not Hungry June 22, 2011, 3:36 pm

    This looks beautiful Nami! Love the fresh octopus too!

  • Liz June 22, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Nami, this is a beautiful salad. I’d love to try it…but have a strong feeling that it wouldn’t fly here! Thanks for sharing…and opening my eyes to such new and unique dishes :)

  • elisabeth@foodandthriftfinds June 22, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Such an exotic salad…so professional looking, Nami. It almost looks as if it was made in a fancy restaurant…actually not just almost…but it sure looks like it:D

  • Simply Life June 22, 2011, 5:06 pm

    What a fun salad!

  • Anncoo June 22, 2011, 6:02 pm

    Nami, thanks for sharing this beautiful salad and this is my hubby’s favorite :) Will make this for him one of these days :)

  • Dee @ Deelicious Sweets June 22, 2011, 6:59 pm

    I’m pretty sure this is available sushi wise in our favorite sushi restaurant. We haven’t brought ourselves to try it yet though!

  • Ellena June 22, 2011, 7:04 pm

    Nami, Tako is one of my favourite while eating Japanese food. I love it texture and now with this beautiful salad of yours i makes me drool!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Alessandra June 22, 2011, 9:44 pm

    I don’t eat octopus (I am a vegetarian) but maybe I could do this with tofu? What do you think? I like the presentation :-), and that bowl!


  • Biren @ Roti n Rice June 22, 2011, 9:45 pm

    My hubby likes octopus but I prefer squids. I would happily finish the cucumber and wakame. I love wakame. I make a similar salad using shrimps instead. I will have to make it soon as it will be so good in this humid weather. :)

  • sheri June 22, 2011, 10:10 pm

    This salad reminds me of my dad. We also eat a similar salad called tako poke in Hawaii. Where did you get your tako? I have never bought it here. This sounds perfect for summer!

  • Mandy - The Complete Cook Book June 22, 2011, 10:33 pm

    Wow, what an incredible salad Nami! I haven’t eaten octopus since I was a young girl – I remember eating it at friends of my parents and it was very tough and fishy in a very rich tomato sauce. I would really love to make this salad next summer.
    :-) Mandy

  • kankana June 22, 2011, 10:40 pm

    I had octopus only once and that was by mistake .. honestly i didn’t like it. Don’t think i can try ever again :) I would love to replace this with shrimp and enjoy your recipe !

  • Mika June 22, 2011, 11:15 pm

    I’m not a big fan of Sunomono, but Douglas tends to like eating it. I wonder if he would like to try this one ; )

  • Jun June 23, 2011, 1:00 am

    Wonderful step by step instructions! I am always a very visual person, I love step by step instructions to cooking. And also, this is my brother’s favorite salad. He would be thrilled. Now let me look for the octopus ..

  • Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets June 23, 2011, 4:55 am

    I must say that octupus meat may just not be for me. But you made it look so beautiful, I’d probably try it if in front of me regardless =)

  • Sawsan@chef in disguise June 23, 2011, 6:25 am

    I have never had octopus before but this salad looks so good I am really tempted to try…
    As always your pictures are stunning

  • Beth Michelle June 23, 2011, 7:32 am

    When I was younger we went out for sushi with family friends and when we were eating octopus one of the sons told me that I should be careful cause the tentacles could stick to my throat! I think that scared me! However, this salad looks beautiful. Maybe I should try octopus again now that Im grown and not so gullible!

  • skip to malou June 23, 2011, 8:45 am

    Nami, I love octopus but never had it raw??? Im not sure. But your salad look refreshingly appetizing and I would not give it a pass. Ill definitely get my fork and fork in. Why not? For me my thinking is that, if other people eat it that way, there’s no way I couldn’t stomach it.. so bring on haha!

  • shaz @ feedingmykidsbetter June 23, 2011, 8:54 am

    looks nice and refreshing like all your salads :)
    thanks for sharing nami!

  • Cooking Gallery June 23, 2011, 12:31 pm

    This looks so yummy….! I think I’ve had this once in a Japanese restaurant, but I had never thought of making this myself at home. Thanks for the recipe, Nami! You make everything looks so simpls :D)!

  • Sandra June 23, 2011, 6:10 pm

    Is Octopus expensive, and do your kids eat it? Not sure I’d ever have the nerve to venture this far into unknown territory. Maybe if you made it into a cake or some cookies maybe?!?!?!

  • rebecca June 23, 2011, 7:05 pm

    looks great Nami remember having octopus in Istanbul and J even ate some do your little ones?

  • Annapet June 23, 2011, 7:44 pm

    I love octopus and what a great excuse to visit Japan Town tomorrow! San Francisco here I come! Thank you for sharing this.

  • Hester Casey - Alchemy June 23, 2011, 11:52 pm

    This looks lovely Nami. I’ve eaten octopus in Greece before – I thought it would be like big squid but it is so tender and delicious. I would be very happy to eat this lovely salad.

  • The Cilantropist June 24, 2011, 12:07 am

    Wow this sounds so interesting!!! I have had it in restaurants before, but not quite this version and definitely never thought to make it at home!

  • Firefly June 25, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I love this :D Coming from the Mediterranean and cooking Mediterranean cuisine so often we sure use octopus and in more than just appetizers and salads. I love this recipe, thanks Nami :)

  • chopinandmysaucepan June 26, 2011, 12:24 am

    I love the chewy, crunchy texture of this octopus vinaigrette especially in summer. You have just reignited my appetite for this beautiful dish which we had at a Japanese restaurant recently and we couldn’t stop thinking about it since.

  • Stephanie August 11, 2012, 12:45 pm

    My boyfriend LOVES tako! I’ll have to try and find some to make this dish. ^_^

  • saurie October 8, 2012, 5:53 pm

    I thought this was a spicy octopus cucumber salad. I usually have it at this restaurant near my home in Fl. I would love to spice it up. It sounds looks and sounds lovely. I will try to make regardless.

    • Nami October 8, 2012, 6:21 pm

      Hi Saurie! Most of sunomono (vinegared salad) in Japan is not spicy, but of course you can arrange it to be spicy with Shichimi Togarashi (http://justonecookbook.com/pantry/shichimi-togarashi/) or any of the spices you have. Thank you for your feedback and I hope you will enjoy this recipe! :)

  • Brian February 15, 2013, 6:10 pm

    The recipe doesn’t say what to do with the vinaigrette. I mixed it with the other ingredients and it was good. Is it a marinade or a dipping sauce?

    • Nami February 16, 2013, 8:59 pm

      Hi Brian! Thank you for noticing my unfinished recipe! You mix the vinaigrette with other ingredients and serve immediately, or you can chill for 30 minutes before serving. :)

  • Emily Tang March 8, 2013, 9:24 am

    good sharing..thanks for ur info…im also writing review for the dish…luckily u got post like what i wan and tats great to see Japanese cooker writing in English….