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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Traveling Abroad Food and more: Fantastic octopus

I have traveled the world and recently returned from a two week trip in China. While I have been in Kansas City area for 28 years, I can't just write about Kansas City, its restaurants and food. Of course, they do tie and they part of what I write about but my blog is more for that about my experiences over the years , from all over the globe too.

Shanghai, China was my first foray into tasting the food in China two weeks ago at the start of tour to see several cities in China, the many sights, see the total solar eclipse. Another great possibility was eating some great and unusual food.

After taking a taxi and going to the huge Pearl Tower, we were hungry. We were on our own for the night so we started going down the street. There was not much here. I had heard that there were some good restaurants inside the hotels so I looked inside one the. We ducked into the Ocean

The waitresses were obliging. They did not speak English and we not much Chinese so we pointed and nodded to the menu, names and photos. They were confused that we did not order right away. The menu was extensive and we took our time.

As we looked through the impressive menu, I zoned in one what I did not want. A regular meal for my first time in China, had to be something engaging and memorable.. I wanted something really different other then the Chinese or Asian fare with beef, chicken or more.

The Octopus in Garlic stood out so I ordered while Jordan my friend ordered Salmon Sahimi.

I thought it would just be a little bowl. Instead it came out in a HUGE bowl of dozens of tiny 1-2 inch octopi stewed in many dozens of garlic pods (that looked at first like little potatotoes). I wish I could show you the picture but I had gone out without my pda which was charging and did not want a lug a camera through the streets as I was a little tired. The meal did not look like this bowl as the octopi were darker and more brittle tentacle like.

My meal cost 38 which technically cost in American about $6. That was truly amazing. I wish I had could have taken pictures of the decor, the aquariums in the fish tanks that people could actually choose their diner and more.

Each octopus was a nice succelent bite, a garlicky morsel that was slightly chewey to eat and was cooked perfected stewed with the garlic .

Unfortuntely I did not have my camera or pda with me so I could not take pictures of this impressive dish. So I big the wait staff goodbye. We put down tips but they would not take them.
We also said goodbye to the spiny lobster in the fish tank. Wish I had time to get back in the next day or two and should have but it did not work ot (instead we went with some other of the tour people to a much cheaper restaurant which cost about the same but was very unappealing in a dim sum fashion. Little did I know I would run into more Dip Sum type meals that were not as attractive, flavorful or tempted my taste buds as this starter meal.

See and try the recipes below and let me know if you try any of them.

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Kansas City Traveling Gourmet

Italian version

Octopus With Garlic - Polipi Veraci All'Aglio Recipe

Recipe Categories: Miscellaneous Recipes
Average Rating: (1 vote)
Yield: 6 servings

2 Octopus (about 1 1/2 pounds
1/4 c Olive oil
5 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 Bay leaf
1/2 ts Cumin seeds
1 sm Green pepper, chopped
Rosemary leaves and parsley


1. Cut out the eyes and mouth of the octopus. Remove the ink sac and internal bone. Cut off the tough points in the tentacles. Put each octopus on a board and beat them well to break the fibers and make the meat more tender. Wash them in running water until they are very white; do not dry but put them in an earthen- ware dish and season with oil, flavored with garlic, bay leaf and cumin seeds. Cover the dish tightly with a sheet of waxed paper or foil tied around the top with string. Put the dish over a very low heat between 1 and 2 hours, according to the size of the octopus. When they are tender, drain them, season with additional oil, salt, green pepper, rosemary leaves and parsley. Serve in a tureen.

From "Feast of Italy", translated from the Italian edition published by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1973. Consulting Chef, Giorgio Gioco. Thomas Crowell, New York. ISBN 0-690-00059-6

It doesn't make reference to it in the text, but in the pictures of both these dishes, it shows one or two largish octopi garnished with reseattes of baby octopi tentacles. I imagine you'd do quite well using the 'baby' octopi like those I see sold around here in the supermarkets, or even with squid.


Zamboanga Octopus
Category: Filipino Popular!
Author: Susan
Added On: 9/30/2005
Viewed: 4,271
Rating:Zamboanga Octopus has been rated 3.00 by 980 users (3.00) votes 980
Rate this recipe

1 kg. Octopus
3 tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, one onion, and bay leaf
3 tablespoons Cooking oil
1 cup Coconut milk
(optional four pieces chili)
1. Wash octopus in water.
2. Place octopus in a covered kettle.
3. Place kettle on electric or gas stove and cook on high heat for 20 minutes. (The octopus will release water.)
4. Remove octopus from kettle and allow to cool down.
5. When cool, slice. Remove and throw away beak.
6. In a saucepan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoon cooking oil.
7. Sauté garlic, onions, and tomatoes.
8. Add sliced octopus.
9. Add a cup of coconut milk (gata).
10. When the coconut milk boils, season to taste and remove from fire.

(Alternate flavoring: flavor with a small piece of cinnamon stick - remove after cooking).

Cacciucco-Fish Stew

Recipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

Show: Emeril LiveEpisode: Food of Tuscany


* 5 pounds assorted seafood, such as eel, squid, prawns, whiting,
* hake, red mullet, small octopus, John Dory, cuttlefish and crawfish
* 3/4 cup olive oil
* 2 cups onions, julienned
* 2 carrots, julienned
* 2 celery stalks, julienned
* 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
* 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
* 2 hot chili peppers, stemmed and minced
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
* 2 cups red wine
* 4 cups peeled, seeded and chopped Roma tomatoes
* 6 cups light stock, fish or chicken
* Salt and pepper
* 12 slices French or Italian type bread


Clean the fish, remove their heads and put them aside. Cut the smaller fish into 3-inch pieces. Season the fish with salt and pepper. In a large pan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the vegetables and saute for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the parsley, garlic, peppers, bay leaves, thyme and fish heads. Continue to saute for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the fish heads have browned. Add the red wine and bring up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock. Bring the liquid up to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Discard the fish heads and bay leaves, set aside and keep hot. In a large saute pan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the squid, cuttlefish and octopus and saute for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining fish and continue to saute for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Heat a large saute pan, and add the remaining olive oil. When the oil is hot, pan-fry the bread for a couple of minutes on each side, or until golden. Fry the bread in batches. Line a large tureen bowl with the fried bread. Lay the fish on top of the fried bread. Pour the soup over the fish and garnish with parsley.


Recipe Type:
Non Veg.
1 kg Octopus
6 Tomatoes
6 Onions
6 Large potatoes
8 Cloves of garlic
8 Olives
1 tbsp Capers
Olive oil for frying
Red wine
Few leaves of mint and marjoram
Pinch of thyme

Cooking Instructions:
Clean the octopus and remove the edible flesh.
Keep the flesh in a plastic bag and beat it.
Cut the flesh into pieces with a knife.
Rinse in salted water and drain.
Transfer the pieces to a pot.
Stew the pieces over a low flame for an hour. If the liquid is too dry, add little hot water.
Meanwhile, Peel and chop the onions. Chop the tomatoes also.
Fry the onions in olive oil till tender.
Add chopped tomatoes and crushed garlic.
When tomatoes become soft, add the chopped olives, capers and all herbs.
Raise the temperature of boiling stew and pour 1/4 bottle red wine.
Now reduce the flame and simmer slowly till the amount of liquid reduces considerably.
Serve the stew with boiled potatoes.


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