Octopus: Barbecued (Angelakis family recipe)

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To tenderise, place the octopus on a clean stone or marble slab, pick it up and throw it back again. Hard! Repeat this procedure until the octopus has softened. Greek fisherman use the rocks by the sea to 'bash' the octopus, but the use of a meat mallet is also quite effective. Most fishmongers pre-tenderise the octopus by tumbling it in a fish scaler.

To prepare marinade, beat lemon juice and olive oil. Add the oregano, pepper and salt to taste. Place the well washed octopus in the marinade and refrigerate overnight. Remove octopus and reserve the marinade. Either of the following 2 methods may be used to barbecue:

  1. If using a hot plate, leave the octopus tentacles whole. Barbecue and baste with brush using the reserved marinade. When cooked, cut into serving portions and serve hot.  OR
  2. The octopus may be cooked into pieces, threaded on skewers and placed over hot coals. Baste regularly while cooking.

On cooking, the octopus will change colour, becoming dark red on the outside and milky white on the inside. It will also become quite dry, thus the importance of the marinade and frequent basting.