Mar 25, 2006

Yasai Itame

Forgive my predilection for using octopus in my recipes. That's but a reaction to my husband's predilection for buying them. :) In my freezer are trays of baby octopus (like the ones used here), boiled octopus, smoked octopus, and even large octopus balls, which he buys from the Cold Storage section of Shopwise.

Well, if you're wondering, the taste and texture of octopi is just like that of the more commonly accepted squid. And since it's lower-priced (P95.00 per kilo compared to P120.00 per kilo for squid), the octopus may have well been substituting for squid in the squid balls that you eat. And if you've eaten Takoyaki balls, then you have eaten octopus. Tako is the japanese term for octopus.

Now here's a recipe making use of my frozen stash of octopi, a dish I never fail to have when we eat at Ramen Tei or Teriyaki Boy. The Yasai Itame in both restaurants use squid by the way. :)
The real recipe calls for cabbage, but since I have Kailan I decided to use it (in the process made the dish more colorful and photogenic). The recipe also commonly uses pork, but in deference to my Lower Mike's Cholesterol project, I've done away with that. :)

Yasai Itame with Baby Octopus

What's in it?

100g baby octopus (cleaned, heads sliced open, tentacles separated from head)
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. Sake (rice wine)
1 big carrot (thinly sliced)
1 big onion (thinly sliced)
10 stalks/leaves Kailan or ½ small cabbage (sliced)
250g bean sprouts
1-2 green peppers (sliced)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. fresh ginger (grated)
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Kitchen Conjugations:

Marinate the octopus in 1 tbsp. soy sauce and Sake. Heat oil in a pan and stir-fry ginger for 3 minutes on high heat. Add marinated octopus, stir fry for 30 seconds, then add vegetables according to how long they take to cook: first the carrots, onion, cabbage, bean sprouts, peppers last. When the vegetables are half-cooked (crisp tender; sweating a little), add in the marinade, and season with pepper and salt.