- 1 octopus, 1.5 kg, cleaned
- 1 onion, peeled
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 medium carrot
- 6-7 black peppercorns
- 6 juniper berries – (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh parsley, to garnish
- Microgreens Mustard – (optional)
- Salmon Caviar – (optional)
Special equipment: plastic bottle of roughly 8-10 cm radius
for Making Sauce
- light soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce
- rice vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
Carpaccio, usually prepared with thinly sliced raw meat and served with lemon and a creamy dressing, is said to have been created by Giuseppe Cipriani, the founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice around the mid-1900s. Legend has it that Cipriani was inspired by the Venetian artist Vittorio Carpaccio and his use of red and yellow colours in his paintings – like the raw red of the meat and yellow of the sauce – and aptly named the dish after the artist.
From these beginnings, Cipriani’s carpaccio has spawned numerous variations using different ingredients. From fruit carpaccio, to raw fish carpaccio and the current octopus carpaccio, in Italy and around the world many chefs have frequently named dishes with thinly sliced ingredients after Cipriani’s famous dish.
Preparation and Directions
- In a large pot, fill with enough water and toss in the onion, celery, carrot, peppercorns, juniper berries and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Holding the octopus by the head, dip the tentacles in the boiling water for a few seconds, remove and repeat to get the tentacles to curl up. 4-5 dips should work. Finally drop in the entire octopus and let simmer for about 70-90 minutes until tender and cooked.
- Drain the octopus, and cut into 4-5 roughly even pieces.
- Grab an empty plastic bottle, cut it in half leaving both the base and about 20cm of the bottle height intact. Using the tip of a sharp knife, punch 5-6 small holes in the base which will serve to drain excess liquid.
- Place one octopus piece in the base of the bottle, and continue layering the pieces one after the other so that they are nice and snug.
- With a flat object, like a lid of a jar or a hamburger press, push down to tightly compress the octopus pieces and to remove excess liquid.
- Cut down the sides of the bottle so that it is in line with the height of the contents. Wrap the entire thing tightly with plastic and store in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
- When ready to serve, unwrap and cut open the plastic. The octopus should have become one tight block so that you can cut thin slices out of it as if you were slicing ham. Arrange them fanned out on a large platter.
- In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, with some salt and pepper. Serve on the side or drizzle over the slices. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.