What Does Octopus Taste Like? Learn About Its Unique Flavor
Not everyone is an adventurous eater. I like to have an idea of what I’m going to be tasting before I put it anywhere near my mouth, and I know I’m not the only one like this!
One food that I was very hesitant to try at first was octopus. I couldn’t imagine what it would taste like. It turns out that octopus is now one of my favorite proteins!
While it’s hard to describe flavors, I’ll try my best to answer the common questions, “What does octopus taste like?” today so that you can gain the confidence needed to try it for yourself.
What Does Octopus Taste Like?
I’ve promised to let you know what octopus tastes like, but it is never easy to describe a flavor, is it?
I’ll do my best to compare it to other foods that you may have tried before in addition to giving a simple description. If you’re still not sure you can imagine the taste, you’ll just have to try some octopus for yourself!
Octopus Tastes Like…
Let’s get to it! Here is what octopus tastes like:
Many people are surprised to find out that octopus actually has a very bland, chewy texture. Most people expect it to taste very fishy since it comes from the water, but octopi have a very different flavor that is closer to chicken or clams than any fish.
Common Ways To Describe The Taste Of Octopus
There’s a pretty high chance that you have never tried any of the foods I listed above before. If you’re not a big fan of trying new seafood, it’s even less likely that you will have tried anything like the texture or taste of octopus before.
So, I’ll try to describe each aspect of octopus (taste, texture, etc.) more simply and compare each aspect to very common foods that more people may have tasted before.
Texture: If you have ever eaten a gummy candy, you can expect octopus to have this type of texture. The texture of octopus is a bit easier to chew than gummy candy, but it can definitely be described as “chewy” so be prepared to have to work a bit to break the protein down.
Taste: Do you know how chicken is relatively flavorless until you cook it in a sauce or marinate it with some flavorful ingredients? Octopus is very similar! It doesn’t have much of a flavor on its own, and you can expect it to taste like whatever you eat it with or cook it in.
Appearance: Appearance is part of taste because you eat with your eyes before you eat with your mouth. Octopus looks just like a little octopus or an octopus tentacle unless prepared otherwise, so you should prepare yourself for that sight.
Smell: I’ve never noticed a particularly pungent smell from octopus. Unlike some types of fish, it does not carry the smell of the sea or the water with it. I don’t think smell is a large part of eating octopus.
Different Preparations Of Octopus Vary In Taste
There are so many different ways that people enjoy octopus around the world. Some eat small octopi that have been steamed or cooked in a spicy sauce. Others eat it raw, nigiri sushi style.
There are even places where octopus is eaten whole:
While eating octopus whole and alive might be too much for many people, there are lots of different ways to eat octopus. If you try some different ways, you’re sure to find a flavor that you can enjoy! Let me introduce a few of my favorite ways to eat octopus.
My dad always said that he’d eat anything fried. I’ve never tested him on this claim, but I have to agree that many foods I don’t really enjoy taste much better in a batter coating and fried.
Octopus is another food that tastes delicious fried! Flash frying the octopus at a high temperature helps make the texture a bit more chew-friendly, so you may love eating octopus like this.
If you like sushi, you might love octopus sushi! This is a good way to eat octopus for those who aren’t sure they will like the texture because a very thin slice of the octopus tentacle will put over rice.
This means that you will not be eating a large, chewy piece of meat. Instead, you’ll just be getting a sliver that gives you an idea of what octopus is all about.
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When I visited Korea, I skipped live octopus and instead ate what are known as baby octopus. While these are actually just a small variety of octopi (not babies), they are very small. You cook these octopi in a spicy sauce until they get smaller, and the flavor is one of my favorite things in the whole world to eat!
Try Octopus For Yourself
While I’ve done the best I can to answer about what does octopus taste like, the only way for you to truly know is to try octopus for yourself! It can be very scary, but there are lots of different preparations of octopus so you can try something that you are comfortable with.
My recommendation for first-time octopus-eaters is to try something with a very flavorful sauce that you like. This will help your mind accept the next texture because you will be enjoying the octopus with a familiar flavor.
Have you ever tried octopus?
Let me know in the comments what you think of the flavor! Then, share this article with a friend who needs to try this delicious snack.