Octopus is one of the most popular seafood in Japan, and it’s easy to see why. It’s tender, juicy, and has a slightly chewy texture that works well with steaming, boiling, or frying. The octopus itself is also relatively inexpensive, making raw octopus a cost-effective dish to prepare at home.
The popularity of sushi in Japan means that many people have tried raw octopus at some point in their lives. But for those who haven’t, may wonder if they can eat it.
Yes, you can eat raw octopus, but it has to be properly prepared to avoid food poisoning. If prepared properly, the seafood is nutritious and tasty to eat. Raw octopus can be served as sashimi (sliced raw fish) or as takoyaki (fried balls).
Is Raw Octopus Safe To Eat?
Raw octopus is safe to eat, but it’s not recommended unless you know how to properly prepare it. Otherwise, you can get food poisoning from eating raw octopus.
The most obvious concern with eating raw octopus is that it’s an animal and animals carry bacteria on their skin and inside their bodies. This bacteria can cause food poisoning if not properly prepared or handled by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing (which happens more often than you’d think).
If you want to eat raw octopus, make sure that it has been frozen first. This will kill any parasites (such as tapeworms) that might be present in the seafood.
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Octopus contains high levels of protein and low levels of fat. It’s also rich in vitamin B12, niacin, selenium, and phosphorus.
Octopus is often served raw or lightly cooked, but it can also be boiled or fried to make it crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This makes it an ideal snack for people who are looking for an alternative to meat products.
Below are some of the benefits of eating raw octopus:
High In Protein
The protein content in octopus ranges from 60% to 70%, which is one of the highest among all types of seafood. The high level of protein makes it a great option for those who want to increase their caloric intake while maintaining a healthy diet plan.
Rich In Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps boost your energy levels by improving your metabolism so that you can burn more calories throughout the day. It also supports growth and development during pregnancy as well as brain health in adults, especially those suffering from memory loss due to aging or Alzheimer’s disease.
What Do Raw Octopus Taste Like?
The taste of a raw octopus is similar to the texture of a seafood jerky. It’s a little hard to chew, but once you get past that, it’s not bad at all.
The flesh of an octopus is actually quite sweet and mild in flavor, but it has a very chewy texture. The tentacles are usually chewier than the body because they need more time to cook through.
If you are new to eating raw octopus, then make sure that you marinate it in lemon juice first to help tenderize the texture and flavor.
How To Prepare Raw Octopus
Raw octopus is an acquired taste, but it’s worth the effort to get past that. If you’re in the mood for some raw seafood, here’s how to prepare octopus for eating.
Step 1: Start by choosing your octopus. It should have a fresh smell and be free of blemishes or discoloration. The less time it has spent in storage, the better.
Step 2: Remove the head, tentacles, and ink sac from the body cavity of your octopus. You may want to cut off any suckers on the tentacles before cooking them because they can become tough if cooked too long or at too high of a temperature.
Step 3: Cut off the tip of each tentacle just above its eyes (or mouth) with a sharp knife or kitchen shears, but leave the eyes intact so they don’t fall out when you cook them later on in Step 5!
Step 4: Rinse your octopus well under cold running water until no more sand or dirt comes off when you rub it between your fingers or rinse it under running water in a strainer. Don’t forget about those suckers as well since those will have a lot of debris in them.
Step 5: Place the octopus pieces in a bowl and cover them with cold water. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then drain and rinse under cool running water until no more grit comes out of them (you might need to repeat this step a couple of times). Pat dry with paper towels. Cut off any remaining eyes or skin if desired. Place on a plate lined with paper towels and cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.
Step 6: To serve, remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature (about 45 minutes). Season generously with salt and lemon juice just before serving; do not marinate as it will make the octopus soggy. Serve immediately!
Is Octopus Served Raw For Sushi?
Octopus is a popular ingredient in sushi. It is usually served raw but some chefs will cook it, as well.
Octopus is cooked for sushi when it has been frozen first. This prevents the octopus from being too chewy when it’s eaten. The freezing process can take up to a week and the octopus must be thawed before it can be cooked. It’s important that you only use fresh octopus for this recipe because frozen octopus doesn’t taste good after it’s been defrosted.
The most common way to cook octopus for sushi is by boiling it in water with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt until tender. The octopus should be boiled until its tentacles are soft enough to pull apart easily with chopsticks or tongs without breaking them apart into pieces too small to eat comfortably with chopsticks (or fingers if you’re not using them).
Raw octopus is safe to eat, but there are some precautions you need to take. Raw octopus is typically sold as fresh or frozen. To prepare it, simply rinse it under cold water before cooking it or eating it raw. You can also buy it already cooked from seafood counters at grocery stores or fish markets.
If you’re planning on eating raw octopus yourself, make sure that your source is reputable and that the product has been handled properly from harvesting through sale at your market or store. Don’t buy any octopus that looks slimy or smells bad — this could be an indication that the product has spoiled or gone bad before reaching your kitchen countertop.