Pulpo a la Plancha, Turmeric-pickled Cauliflower, Marcona Almonds, Black Garlic-Squid Ink Emulsion, and Kaffir Lime

Adapted by StarChefs.com
March 2013
Yield: 10 to 12 servings


5 liters cold water
150 grams kombu
150 grams dried bonito flakes
Kaffir Lime Marinade
12 grams coriander
12 grams fennel seed
13 grams Calabrian chilies
15 grams garlic
215 grams extra virgin olive oil
28 grams kaffir lime leaves
30 grams oregano
200 grams parsley
15 grams honey
70 grams orange juice
10 pounds 1- to 2-pound octopus, cleaned and heads removed
10 to 12 pieces cheesecloth, cut into 12-inch x 12-inch squares
10 to 12 pieces string
Pickling Liquid
¼ cup palm sugar
1/8 cup salt
½ cup water
½ cup champagne vinegar
½ rice wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons toasted coriander seeds
peel of 1 lemon
1 pound spring garlic, thinly sliced
Turmeric-pickled Cauliflower
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 cup standard pickling liquid
1 head cauliflower, cut into dime-sized florets
1 habañero chile, split
Black Garlic-Squid Ink Emulsion
1 cup black garlic, peeled
1 cup water
1 tablespoon squid ink
lemon juice
To Assemble and Serve
Marcona almonds
mixed greens


For the Dashi:
In a large stock pot, combine water and konbu and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes (do not boil). Once konbu softens, strain from the broth. Add bonito flakes to the broth and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and chill.

For the Kaffir Lime Marinade:
In a small, dry sauté pan over medium-high heat, toast the coriander and fennel seeds, stirring occasionally until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and crush with a mortar and pestle. In a food processor, combine crushed spices, Calabrian chilies, garlic, half the extra virgin olive oil, Kaffir lime leaves, oregano, and one-third of the parsley. Pulse to combine. Continue to add olive oil and parsley in thirds, pulsing between each addition.  Add honey and orange juice and season with salt.

For the Octopus:
Lay a piece of cheesecloth on a cutting board. Place an octopus in the center, tentacles facing downward. Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together, making  a pouch, and tie with string. Repeat with each octopus. In a medium rondeau, place the octopus in a single layer. Cover with Dashi. Poach until tender, 2 to 3 hours. Remove from heat and cool octopus in the broth. Remove octopus from the liquid and cheesecloth. Wipe as much liquid from octopus as possible and air-dry. Cut octopus in half and place in a large container. Cover with the Kaffir Lime Marinade, making sure to completely cover the tentacles. Marinate a least 4 hours, or overnight.

For the Pickling Liquid:
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and salt in the water. Whisk in the vinegars, and add bay leaf, coriander seeds, lemon peel, and spring garlic. Pour liquid into a vacuum bag and seal. Marinate for 1 hour.

For the Turmeric-pickled Cauliflower:
In a small bowl, combine turmeric and 1 cup pickling liquid. Add the cauliflower and habañero to a vacuum bag, cover with pickling liquid, seal, and pickle overnight.

For the Black Garlic-Squid Ink Emulsion:
Add water to the bowl of a blender. Turn machine on high and gradually add the black garlic. Blend until fully incorporated. Pour in squid ink and season with lemon juice and salt.

To Assemble and Serve:
In a large pan over medium-high heat, sear each Octopus, tentacles side down, until golden brown. Turn over and continue cooking until warmed through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Spread a large spoonful of Black Garlic-Squid Ink Emulsion in the center of the plate. Place an Octopus on top of the sauce and garnish with the Turmeric-pickled Cauliflower, almonds, and greens.