I bought some marinated baby octopus that I am cooking for dinner in about 2 hours. This is the first time that I ever bought it and have no idea how to cook it. The instructions on the packet, just say light pan fry or grill but doesn't say for how long. Can someone please help me with tips to cook baby octopus? Is the head edible or do I chop it off?

2 Answers 2


This recipe for Grilled Baby Octopus has instructions for cleaning them. You can either cut off the heads, or if you choose to retain them:

Make a shallow cut along the head, being careful not to cut too deep and puncture the innards. Carefully but firmly pull out everything inside. Cut the head off, turn it inside out and use a knife to scrape away the innards.

In both cases, if a small black, triangular beak does not come out along with everything else, then push your finger up through the middle of the body and the beak should pop out.

As explained in this question, you will want to cook octopus very briefly so it does not get rubbery, or for a long time, to move past the rubbery stage. If, as mentioned in the question, you wish to fry them, the cooking time may be around one minute. Some recipes suggest 2-3 minutes per side.

For specific recipes, you can google "baby octopus recipe".

  • Thanks, I still haven't started cooking it and am looking up how to cook. Every recipe I find has different cooking times, so I am kinda confused :(
    – Divi
    Mar 18, 2013 at 10:59
  • Welcome to the world of the Internet. I think your best bet would be to cut them into pieces, bread lightly, and deep fry for one minute or so as suggested in the the Serious Eats recipe for squid linked in the related question. seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/10/… He tends to have very high quality recipes.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Mar 18, 2013 at 11:02
  • As my question says, I bought already marinated baby octopus. So, I just have to pan fry them. I think I'll just have to go with some guess work and the power of sight :)
    – Divi
    Mar 18, 2013 at 11:26
  • Two hours lead time doesn't give you much time or flexibility, especially for an ingredient you have never tried before.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Mar 18, 2013 at 11:49
  • 1
    I know, just wanted to surprise my partner. BTW, it turned out great. I just fried it in a very hot wok with very hot oil for about 2-3 minutes and it was delicious. Thanks for your help
    – Divi
    Mar 18, 2013 at 13:34

Fry in wok or pan with sunflower oil and Panko. I can suggest this video for the technique.

  • rumtscho edited out the unhelpful parts of your answer - we're looking for serious answers here.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 19, 2013 at 2:03

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