Perfect for those summer poolside bbq’s, this dish is light, easy and has a hit of citrus zing. Mark Jensen, head chef of the award winning Sydney restaurant Red Lantern shares his recipe for Barbecued Spiced Lemon and Orange Marinated Octopus for Noosa International Food and Wine Festival readers.
Mark appears regularly on ‘Ready Steady Cook’ and is also the author of The Urban Cook, his second book after co-authoring ‘Secrets of Red Lantern’ with his brother in-law Luke Nguyen.
Serves 4 as a starter
1 medium octopus, about 600g
1 tbs fennel seeds
1 tbs cumin seeds
2 tbs coriander seeds
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ bunch of spring onions, white part only, finely sliced
200ml olive oil
1 lemon, finely zested and juiced
1 orange, finely zested and juiced
Spring onions, green part only, finely sliced on the diagonal
To make the marinade, dry-roast the spices in a frying pan until lightly coloured, then grind to a powder using a mortar and pestle. Place the spices, garlic, spring onion, olive oil and the lemon and orange zests and juices in a large bowl.
To prepare the octopus, remove the head, open it up and discard all viscera. Wash under cold running water, then cut into 8 pieces and set aside. Push the beak from the mouth of the octopus, separate the tentacles, then cut the tentacles in half horizontally and place entire octopus in the marinade. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
To cook the octopus, preheat barbecue grill to hot. Remove octopus from marinade, place it in a bowl and season generously with sea salt. Make sure you allow some marinade to remain on the octopus. Pour the rest into a saucepan and place it on the barbecue. Allow the juice to slowly reduce by one-third, then remove from heat and set aside. Place octopus on barbecue and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.
Take care not to cook it for too long, as it can become tough – cook until just done in the middle.
Place octopus on a serving platter and drizzle over several spoonfuls of the hot marinade. Garnish with the spring onions.