Grilled Baby Octopus with Nuoc Cham

grilled baby octopus

Starters | January 22, 2018 | By

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! 

baby octopusBeautiful baby octopus can be found at most Asian markets and select specialty stores.

grilled baby octopusGrilled to perfection, these little cuties make a great appetizer for your dinner party. They cook so quickly so keep your eye on the ball! 

grilled baby octopusTender grilled baby octopus combined with a Vietnamese Nuoc Cham sauce make this appetizer dish a winner!

nuoc cham dipping sauce

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.

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Grilled Baby Octopus with Nuoc Cham
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Notes
You can find baby octopus at your local Asian market, or specialty grocery stores.

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.

seared chili scallops

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 fish saucesambal oelek chili paste

 

 

Simple Asian Lobster Rolls

Asian Lobster Rolls

There’s nothing that says summer like melt-in-your-mouth Lobster Rolls! They remind me of my many trips to New England where one must indulge in fresh Maine lobster rolls! So, here’s our take on an Asian-inspired version using Chinese steamed buns (a.k.a. “Bao”) instead of the standard hot dog bun. This recipe couldn’t be easier! We used cooked lobster for a short cut (Whole Foods will steam the lobster for you!), but you can buy it frozen or cook the lobster yourself. We also cheated a little by using Pillsbury Grands, which is available at your local grocery store, and steamed them in a bamboo steamer. Easier than making these steamed buns from scratch! Serve with a side salad of Spicy Fennel and Broccoli Slaw and chips for a perfect summer picnic! (If you like this recipe, try our Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Bánh Mì sandwich!)

Asian Lobster RollsSucculent and sweet, these Asian-inspired lobster rolls will remind you of a balmy summer’s day in New England!

bamboo steamerSteam the buns in a bamboo steamer for perfect Chinese “bao” buns!

steamed bunsThe buns will puff up when steamed. Then fill them with the lobster salad mixture!
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Simple Asian Lobster Rolls
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ pounds cooked, shelled lobster meat, cubed
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemongrass, finely chopped (white parts only)
  • Zest from ½ lime
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands Buttermilk Biscuits
Instructions
  1. To make the aioli: In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sambal oelek and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine lobster, celery, red onion, green onion, lemongrass, lime zest, and cilantro. Fold in the aioli mixture. Set aside.
  3. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. With fingers, flatten each into rounds about ½ inch thick. Fold over to form half-moon shape; place in steamer or bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper. Set steamer on top of wok or saucepan with boiling water. Steam 10 minutes; cool completely.
  4. Cut buns in half, but not completely through, to form a pocket. Stuff buns with lobster salad mixture and serve immediately on a platter. Serve with a side of potato chips or your favorite side, like Spicy Fennel and Broccoli Slaw!
Notes
You can use frozen or fresh lobster for this dish. I had Whole Foods steam the lobster for me. Sambal oelek can be found at select grocery stores and specialty Asian markets.

If you liked this recipe, try our Easy Sushi Pizza

sushi pizza

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