VARIETIES | OCTOPUS
Fresh is always best with this seafood that is perfect on the grill
Octopus is becoming more popular on plates at seafood restaurants and as an alfresco snack. Octopus flesh varies a little depending on how it’s prepared, but is generally firm and doesn’t break apart easily, making it ideal when grilled, spiced and served on a salad bed. With octopus, fresh is always best, so buy local and enjoy.
Don Hancey’s Cooking Tip
Rating high on the sustainability charts, WA “occy” tastes pretty amazing – it’s similar to lobster because that’s what they feed on. Pickled octopus tastes mighty fine and isn’t too difficult to prepare making it a great option for a hot or cold antipasto treat before lunch or dinner. For cooking, I love to let the produce speak for itself. Barbecue or grill the octopus over medium to high heat, adding whatever flavours, spices and seasonings you like – native Australian ground pepperberry works a treat! Slow cooking is also a great way to respect this denizen of the deep. Big tip, don’t overcook octopus as it toughens up the flesh.
Recreational octopus fishing mainly consists of by-catch from recreational lobster pots, however there are scuba diving opportunities around Western Australia for targeted octopus fishing. If you’re wanting to buy fresh local octopus head over to Fremantle Octopus. They are an internationally-renowned octopus fishery that sells direct to consumers at their O’Connor retail outlet.
Western Australian octopus is found scattered across the state from Shark Bay to the South Australian border. Western Australia’s leading octopus fishery has received the prestigious Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification marking the highest level of sustainability a fishery can achieve. In addition, the West Coast Rock Lobster Managed Fishery (WCRLF) catch octopus as a byproduct.