I have been discussing charcoal with my friend and tennis buddy Mike for some time, in particular octopus, which I have not cooked on charcoal.

Yesterday when Mike’s and my teams played each other he hosted a post-match barbie, and I was very excited that octopus was on the menu.

It was superb, exceeding my high expectations and bringing back memories of the first time I tasted octopus on Paros in 1989.

Mike kindly shares his recipe here:

“I buy a two-kilo block of frozen, tenderised tentacles. I let them defrost, and peel them just as they are coming to the thaw; that’s when it’s easiest.

The marinade is:
6 cloves garlic
Olive oil
Juice of 5 lemons
salt, pepper, oregano.

Some people don’t like to use lemon juice because it starts to cook the flesh, but for me that’s not a problem. I marinaded this lot for 6 hours.

“They need to be cooked over very hot charcoal – today I’ll cook the octopus first, and then cook the steaks later when the coals are cooler. 

Even with this heat, I’ll still cook for 20 minutes, turning and basting five times with the leftover marinade to keep them moist.

The flesh needs to be firm and white all the way through, but still tender and moist. Cut the tentacles into conveniently sized pieces and serve straight away.”

Thank you Mike!

Mike’s Octopodi