Couldn’t get enough of these beautiful sea creatures which were deliciously prepared in Thailand! We just had to put our Asian-inspired spin on this recipe: Grilled Baby Octopus with Nuoc Cham sauce. Don’t be squeamish when it comes to enjoying this unique seafood treat! (Tastes like chicken! Not really, but it tastes a lot like calamari.) These baby O’s cook quickly so we don’t recommend making this after four glasses of wine ’cause you’ll need to pay attention! We pre-cooked them for one minute in boiling water, then marinated them in the fridge for a few hours before grilling. The best part is the to-die-for Vietnamese Nuoc Cham sauce that we drizzled all over the top. Serve this as an appetizer for your dinner guests and don’t tell them how easy it was to make!
Beautiful baby octopus can be found at most Asian markets and select specialty stores.
Grilled to perfection, these little cuties make a great appetizer for your dinner party. They cook so quickly so keep your eye on the ball!
Tender grilled baby octopus combined with a Vietnamese Nuoc Cham sauce make this appetizer dish a winner!
Nuoc Cham dipping sauce is a staple at most Vietnamese tables. This sauce compliments so many Asian dishes and we’ve prepared our own version of this versatile sauce.
- 2 pounds baby octopus, cleaned and heads discarded
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pinch of Kosher salt & pepper
- For the Nuoc Cham Sauce:
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus juice from 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (red chili paste)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Pinch Kosher salt
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Fill a large pot with 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add in the baby octopus for 1 minute only. Remove and strain the octopus under cold water to stop the cooking.
- Place the baby octopus in a large sealable baggie. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the baby octopus and marinate for at least two hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Let octopus sit to room temperature when ready to grill. Heat a stove-top grill pan or outdoor grill on high heat (spray with cooking spray). Place the baby octopus on the grill and use a heavy pan or grill press to flatten the octopus while it cooks. Grill for 5 minutes on each side until nice grill marks appear. Remove from heat and place on a platter. Pour the Nuoc Cham sauce over the top and garnish with cilantro.
- To make the Nuoc Cham Sauce: In a medium glass mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients together and taste for seasoning (more salt). Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or freeze for up to six months. Makes a great dipping sauce for Asian dishes.
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #AsianCaucasianBlog. We’d love to see your pics on Instagram and Facebook!
If you liked this recipe, try our Seared Chili Scallops with Baby Bok Choy.
Shop products featured in this recipe:
Hi all! Leaving on vacation this week so here’s a guest post from food blogger (and fellow Atlantan), Amy, with Amy in the Kitchen! I met Amy in Minneapolis this summer where we both attended an awesome food photography class hosted by Pinch of Yum. You could say that we really took notes and learned a ton from the experts about the art of food photography. Anyway, Amy was kind enough to contribute her Pork Potstickers recipe for the blog this week. Looks SO delish, Amy! Enjoy, everyone!
“Pork Potstickers are one of my all time favorite appetizers! I can remember the first time I have ever had a potsticker. It was 1992 and I had just started my first serving job at a really nice Japanese restaurant in Memphis, TN called Sekisui. When I took a bite out of one these savory little dumplings I couldn’t believe how amazing it tasted … It was infused with exotic flavors that I had never experienced before. I grew up in southern Louisiana … home to some of the best food in the world so I went into the taste test a little on the biased side.”
“There was something so different about this wonderful new type of cuisine I was experiencing. It might sound silly but it was after eating my first pork potsticker that I really wanted to start trying new things. You could say that the ‘gyoza’ was the start of my food obsession! Forget about those frozen potstickers you find at the grocery store … they are way too easy to make.”
- 1½ pounds ground pork
- 1 cup shredded cabbage mixture (I buy the bag already shredded with carrots and then finely chop a cup of it)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 egg
- 1 package of wonton wrappers
- Dipping Sauce:
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 green onion, chopped
- Place ingredients into a bowl and mix until fully combined. (If you can do this ahead of time and let sit in fridge for a few hours or overnight the flavors will be even better!)
- Take a wonton wrapper and lay it out flat onto a hard surface lined with parchment paper.
- Using your finger, rub warm water onto the edges of the wonton wrapper.
- Place a teaspoon of the pork mixture into the center of the wonton.
- Take one corner and pull the opposite corner up and pinch them together.
- Starting from the top, pinch the sides together until the wonton is sealed.
- Spray the bottom of a non-stick skillet with cooking spray.
- Place the potstickers, flat side down into the skillet and turn the heat to medium high heat.
- Once the pan starts to heat up, pour ½ cup of water into the bottom of the pan and cover.
- Cook the potstickers for about 8 minutes. Do not move them at all during this time.
- Remove the cover and continue to cook the potstickers until the water is completely evaporated and the bottoms are golden brown.
- Dipping sauce: Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Serve on the side of potstickers.
If you liked this recipe, try our Roasted Butternut Squash Wonton Bites