Octopus souvlaki is not something you will find at every corner in Greece, but it is one of the most delicious summer skewers. Greeks like octopus and make endless variation of salads and different dishes with this eight-leg sea creature. Grilling octopus for souvlaki is just a simple and tasty way to enjoy it.
Baby octopus is the best for souvlaki. You can buy frozen octopus which is already cleaned so that makes the whole thing much easier. If you are buying fresh octopus make sure to clean it properly. Before the preparation, defrost the frozen one and run it under cold water for awhile. The same should be done with the fresh one after cleaning and cutting. Dry the octopus and spike it a little on the cutting board with the fork or peak of the knife, just to allow it later, while marinated, to mix better with the other flavors.
Octopus marinade can’t be simpler; it is as any other basic one for souvlaki: olive oil, freshly squeezed juice of lemon, and mashed garlic. Will you add basil leaves or oregano in the marinade, it’s completely up to you since both go really well.
Octopus Souvlaki Recipe
- 1 kg. of baby octopus
- Olive oil
- 5 – 6 garlic cloves, mashed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 or 2 lemons, sliced
- Basil leaves
Look for frozen octopus if you are not a huge aficionado of fresh seafood and if you don’t have much time for cleaning it. While defrosting it, make a marinade of olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, mashed garlic cloves, and cut basil leaves. Mix everything well. Now, dry the octopus meat and cut in the pieces you will put on skewers (if you are using bigger octopus).
Once done, put the meat in a plastic bag, add marinade, and shake everything really well so that all octopus pieces are well coated. Keep refrigerated for at least 4 or 5 hours, shaking the plastic bag at least couple of times. As always, Greeks would rather keep the marinated octopus in the fridge overnight: it will be juicier and tastier.
When grilling time comes, secure the octopus pieces on the skewer with lemon slices on both sides and add some slices in the between of octopus pieces if the skewers are longer. Serve with fresh green salad and additional pieces of lemon. Don’t forget ouzo!!!