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.
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Still feeling stuffed like a glutton from your Thanksgiving feast? Here’s a healthy, easy recipe to help shrink the Thanksgiving bloat! These Grilled Flank Steak Lettuce Cups are a cinch to make and assemble. The marinade for the flank steak is super flavorful, and the fixins’ add the texture (shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, bean sprouts, and cilantro). The lettuce cups are topped with a drizzle of Nuoc Cham, an awesome Vietnamese dipping sauce, that will tingle your tastebuds. More please!
These Grilled Flank Steak Lettuce Cups are incredibly flavorful and oh, so healthy!
Choose a nice cut of steak and marinate the flank steak with our special marinade in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Grilled to perfection! You can use a grill pan or take it outside on the BBQ grill!
The flank steak grills to the perfect temperature — so tender! Let it rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board before slicing and adding to the lettuce cups.
The toppings for the lettuce cups — thinly sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, and bean sprouts.
Assemble the Grilled Flank Steak Lettuce Cups with a butter lettuce leaf. Top with our Nuoc Cham drizzling sauce!
Nuoc Cham is a Vietnamese dipping sauce that can be used for many purposes, including the drizzle for these Grilled Flank Steak Lettuce Cups!
- ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 scallions, chopped or sliced
- 1 ½ to 2 pounds flank steak, cleaned of fat
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers
- ¼ fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 head butter lettuce, separated into leaves
- Nuoc cham dipping sauce
- Black and white sesame seeds
- To make the marinade: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine, sesame oil, borown sugar, sambal oelek, garlic, and scallions.
- Place the flank steak in a large glass baking dish, or plastic sealable baggie. Pour the marinade over the flank steak and let marinate for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator and let it get to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Using an outdoor grill, or grill pan, coat with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Grill the steak for about 6 minutes each side, or until cooking to medium. Remove to cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Slice the meat across the grain.
- To make the lettuce cups: Place a few pieces of steak into the lettuce leaf and top with carrots, bean sprouts, cucumbers, and cilantro. Drizzle with nuoc cham dipping sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Click here for the Nuoc Cham dipping sauce recipe.
If you liked this recipe, try our Vietnamese Grilled Pork Tenderloin Skewers