When it comes to cooking, there are usually two ways that you eat food.
Either you cook it first and then eat it, or you eat it raw. It just depends on what you like, but not all foods are created equal, which means not all can be eaten raw.
One kind of food people might eat raw or cooked is an octopus.
In this article, we will discuss whether it’s possible to eat raw octopus and what benefits and risks can come about when eating it raw. By the end, you will be very informed! We promise you that.
Is It Possible To Eat Raw Octopus?
Sadly, octopuses shouldn’t be eaten raw. The reason it’s recommended that you don’t eat it in this manner is due to all the viruses, parasites, bacteria, and toxins that can exist inside this sea creature.
This goes for some types of seafood as well. Yes, some of it can be eaten raw, but there are some you absolutely should not eat raw, and octopus is one of them.
In the next section, we will go into the specific risks of eating raw octopus. Some of the risks can put your life at risk, so you do need to keep these in mind before you decide to eat raw octopus in any capacity.
What Are the Risks of Eating Raw Octopus?
Unfortunately, the risks of eating raw octopus outweigh the benefits. The risks of eating it include:
- Octopus can have toxins inside them, so this is why you don’t want to eat them raw. This is a big reason why some seafood and shellfish should not be eaten raw. It’s just too risky. It could lead to food positioning, which isn’t usually fatal, but it can be extremely uncomfortable to deal with. When stuck with food poisoning, be prepared to be spending the next few days at home near the toilet.
- Mercury poisoning is one issue that can come with eating seafood such as Octopus. While the levels in the octopus are low, it still can be an issue. The best way to avoid it is to just have an octopus once or twice a month because mercury can cause a lot of problems to your body.
- Another issue with eating octopus raw is that the suckers could get stuck to the throat and become a choking hazard. It could lead to you choking to death because of the octopus sticking to your throat, leaving you unable to breathe. This has happened to a few people in South Korea, which even made the headlines.
How to Safely Store Raw Octopus
The best way to minimize the risk of getting sick from an octopus, besides cooking it, is to store it properly. You can do this by:
- Once you buy seafood, it either needs to go in the fridge or the freezer unless you plan to eat it right away. Assuming you have purchased pre-packed and already cut octopus, all you need to do is put the package in the coldest part of the fridge. It will last about 2 to 3 days, so make sure you don’t leave it in there any longer than that.
- Another way to store seafood is by putting it in the freezer. Assuming it’s already prepackaged and prepared, you should put it in a Ziplock bag or some other similar brand so it doesn’t get freezer burn. It can last in the freezer for as long as 3 months. Just make sure you write the date on the bag so you are aware of when it was placed into the freezer.
So, now you know how to safely store octopus, you should learn the best ways to cook octopus since eating it raw is simply not an option. In the next section, we are going to address just that!
How To Cook Octopus
There are three popular methods of cooking octopus, and they include:
- Octopus can be boiled in a pot on the stovetop, which is one of the most popular methods of cooking it. Prepare the octopus as you usually do, and then boil some water in a pot. Once it is boiling, put the octopus into the water and boil until it is tender. Times vary, so make sure to keep an eye on it. You’ll be able to tell it is tender when you can slide a knife through the flesh with ease.
- Another way to cook octopus is by cooking it in a pressure cooker. All you have to do is follow the instructions on your specific slow cooker/pressure cooker. Put the octopus in and keep it in there for about 15 minutes or so at high pressure. Again, times vary, so just make sure you follow the instructions on your particular device. The bad thing about this method is that you do need to have a pressure cooker of some kind, and if you don’t, consider investing in one!
- Finally, the last way to cook an octopus is to either sear it in a pan with oil on the stovetop or grill it on a grill. You need to cook it at high heat until it has become tender. You’ll be able to tell this once you can slice a knife through the skin easily. Also, make sure to sear or grill on both sides of the octopus.
While there are other methods of cooking octopus, we feel like this is the best way out of all of the ones that exist out there.
No matter how you cook it, you’ll be enjoying some delicious octopus!
And there you have it, all your octopus lovers out there. Octopus is not a food for everyone, but it is a staple for many meals in certain cultures.
However, it’s not a good food to eat raw because it could make you sick.
There are plenty of ways to cook octopus, so you’ll never run out of ways to prepare it.
You might also be interested in the following:
- Can You Eat Raw Lobster?
- Can You Eat Raw Scallops?
- Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?
- Can You Eat Raw Crab?
- Can You Eat Raw Tuna?
- Can You Eat Raw Salmon?
- Can You Eat Raw Fish?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.