Octopus

(seasonal)

Also called the Giant Pacific Octopus

 

 

The Meat:

I'm not really sure how to describe octopus meat. If it's done right it's amazing. Even better than calamari and I love calamari. Everyone seems to have their own way to cook it.

Prep:

Your octopus order will arrive either as a large chunk of leg. A single medium-sized animal, or a bunch of smaller individuals. The main thing is how to reduce the chewiness.  There are two main approaches to this:  1. tap it with a tenderizing hammer. 2. boil it for about an hour.  Here's how to clean your octopus.

Health concerns:

Found this on the web:  “Octopus is a low calorie, lean seafood making it a good way to get protein in your diet without adding too much fat.” All the cephalopods are high in cholesterol but this is dietary cholesterol not the transfat cholesterol that is the major concern of people at risk of heart disease. Octopus meat is also high in vitamins (C, D and A) and is a good source of silenium and those omega three fatty acids that health nuts always rave about.

Gear and fishery info:

Octopus are caught in dungeness crab pots, in fact they are the only significant bycatch in dungeness fishery.  It is possible that down the road apiece I might source octopus from Washington or Alaska, but as of this writing (07/14) I get all of my octopus from California crab fishermen.

Fish Nerdism 101:

Like their cephalopod cousins the squids, octopi are really, really fast-growing and short-lived. The average lifespan is 3-5 years (which makes them one of the longest lived cephalopods). They're also insanely prolific. A single female can produce 150,000 to 400,000 eggs. So despite the fact that they are so cool and intelligent (see below) they are exactly the sort of species that we should be eating more of: species that can reproduce on a level commensurate with fishing pressure.

Facts:
  • Scientific Name:                       Enteroctopus dofleini

 

  • Habitat:  It is found in habitats that range from shallow tidal pools to ocean depths of about 4,920 feet (1500 m). It is most abundant in shallow waters 300 to16 feet (5 m) deep.

 

  • Diet: Octopi commonly prey upon shrimp, rock crabs, scallops, abalone, clams and fish. Food is procured with its suckers and then bitten using its tough "beak" of chitin.

 

  • Size:  They can range from half a pound to over 100 pounds depening on age of the individual.

 

  • Range:  The octopus occurs along the Pacific coast from California north to Alaska and across to Japan. 

 

2010 - present

2010 - present

Parting Shots

I realize some people have moral qualms about eating a species that's s so durned intelligent. In fact it is my personal belief that octopi are more intelligent than at least 25 percent of the human population... so if you find yourself in a moral quandary about eating them, let me know ASAP and I'll put you on the “no Octopus for me please” list.