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Sashimi and Sushi - Preparing Octopus

Λογότυπο DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/7/2014 DKBooks
© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Preparing Octopus

Fresh octopus is a Japanese delicacy. You may wonder how we manage to turn this tough, rubbery mollusk into tender sashimi. It’s not easy and, as the name of this sort of preparation—nimono—indicates, it involves simmering.

Octopus is covered by a coating of what can only be called slime. The first step in making it edible involves kneading the octopus by hand in a large bowl with a lot of coarse salt to rub off this outer coating (photo 01). After cutting off the body and rinsing off the salt, score the top of the tentacles (photo 02) so the arms lie flat. On a wooden board, beat the octopus to tenderize it; a large daikon is traditionally used for this purpose because of its tenderizing qualities (photo 03). Then separate the tentacles and dip them a few times into a pot of simmering dashi to heat them gradually (photos 04 and 05). Lower the octopus into the dashi, adding more dashi to the pot if needed (photo 06), and simmer gently until tender, about one and a half hours (photo 07).

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