Delicious little tentacles – Tagine of octopus with mangoes
Délicieuses petites tentacules – Tagine de poulpe aux mangues
From what I’ve seen and heard, I have found very few people crazy about octopus…unlike me, I love it, like every thing else that lives in an ocean. The thing with octopus is that it needs to be well cooked, and prepared the right way or it can get hard to chew, and rubbery. I have tasted an octopus carpaccio in a small restaurant in Como Lake, Italy, where the octopus was cut in paper thin slices, then marinated and topped with rucola, lemon juice and olive oil. Octopus is very popular in Mediterranean cuisine and despite its strange prehistorical aspect, has an extraordinary delicate flavor and can be prepared in many different ways.
For this recipe, you can cut the octopus in smaller pieces if you don’t like to have big chunks of tentacles in your plate. I wanted to make octopus pieces as big as the mangoes. Don’t get intimidated by this strange animal with its long legs and tentacles, you’ll be surprised by its delicacy.
I found this recipes couple of years ago on a tagine recipe book (I forgot its name, I only remember it was a purple book), the little twist is the addition of the spice mixture you can buy at some specialty counter at our Nancy’s market. You can make it as well, keep it in a air tight container and use it in fish dishes, it’s really a great mix. Every year when I come home, my mom makes this tagine for me, she knows I am crazy for octopus, the only problem is that she used a whole octopus this time, this one weighted 5 lb, so there was enough octopus for an army. How much octopus can you eat?
Cooking octopus in clay tagine pot makes it very flavorful and tender, the addition of mangoes 20 minutes before removing it from the oven adds a sweet touch that gives this dish an exquisite exotic touch. I use my tagine very often and cooking in clay pot makes a big difference in terms of flavor. I even bought another clay pot here, that will need to fit in my suitcase and arrive in San Francisco in one piece. That will be my last day challenge.
Ingredients for 4-5
- 2 lb octopus
- 1 1/2 onions, sliced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp spice mix
- 2 firm mangoes, not too ripe
- salt and pepper
Spice mix for a small jar
- 2 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp anise seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbs parsley flakes
Clean octopus under running water, remove beak, eyes, etc…
Cook octopus in boiling water for about 30-45 minutes. Remove from water, drain and let it cool. Cut in small pieces about 1 inch thick.
Heat olive oil in your tagine, and brown onions. Add octopus, paprika, spice mix, salt and pepper. Mix well. Cook in a pre-heated oven for 1h30 hour at 375-380F. 20 minutes before removing from the oven, add mangoes, cover and cook until the mangoes are cooked but still firm and not mushy. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with white rice, steamed potatoes or herbed quinoa.
This entry was posted by silvia on January 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm, and is filed under Fish/Seafood. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.
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Oh, man. You put me in a bind. I’ve had octopus that’s to die for and, well, the other kind. Yours looks like the former: beautifully slow cooked and fragrant in an excellent sauce. Thanks! I’ll give it another shot.
wow! this is anew one for me..amazing. didn’t know you could do octopus in a tagine. I love octopus and mango too!
This dish looks delicious, I love the octopus and the mangoes is a good suprise
Though not that fanatic,I love octopus, and this appears to be a very nice treat.
a very interesting combination,it sounds so exotic from me!we have a lot of snow…
What a fabulous combination. I haven’t eaten octopus in years… but looks scrumptious.
Love all the spices and colour. I’m sure it’s very delicious.
This is a great idea. it will be perfect for a challenge that I had in mine. thanks!
Beautiful recipe. I want to try it and eat.
I love octopus, am crazy for mango and like very much tagine … so, that’s for me
Mamamia, looks so scrumptious! I’m sure the mango goes perfectly well with the octopus.
Octopus is such a weird and wonderful ingredient. I used to have a cold octopus salad at new years — a family friend would make it every year — the texture was unusual and it was fun to see the little suction cups on the arms!
i’ve never had octopus before – i’m still hesitant (plus i think the octopus is a cool animal). however, this dish looks beautiful and i’m intrigued that it can be cooked in a tagine. your post has me leaning in the direction of being willing to try it, so i’ll have to report back once i find a great octopus cook.
I love octopus, too (when it is prepared well). But I have honestly never made it at home… Your recipe sounds delicious!
You are so right – octopus is either perfect, or inedible. This looks perfect.
I must admit, I have never had octopus, but this looks so incredible. I will give it a try.
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Oh I do love octopus! I would never have thought to combine it with mango. How interesting. It does sound good when you think of the sweetness a mango could bring.
What is the health benefits of eating Octopus?