Octopus cooked sous-vide is very flavorful and tender, and sliced thinly as carpaccio is a great way of serving it. Last year I prepared octopus carpaccio, but the slices fell apart. I tried adding gelatin and that didn’t help. Then I decided next time I would try to use a ‘meat glue’ enzyme called transglutaminase. I didn’t get around to doing that, and then I forgot about it until the succesful experiment I performed with Activa and duck breast. I prepared it exactly the same way, except that I added 2% transglutaminase by weight. And guess what? It worked! Perfect slices that didn’t fall apart.
When you prepare this, I recommend you to serve it with parsley, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and perhaps some cubes vine tomatoes.
1.8 kilograms (4 lbs) octopus, cleaned
2 bay leaves, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
6 juniper berries
6 black pepper corns
18 grams Activa RM or Activa EB (2% of the cooked octopus by weight)
Toss the octopus with the transglutaminase until it is coated on all sides. (Make sure to clean your hands and anything else that was touched by the Activa quickly, as it is very sticky stuff indeed.)
Take a plastic water bottle (still water, not carbonated) and cut off the top. The bottle needs to be at least 1 litre/1 quart. Arrange the octopus in the bottle. The tentacles should be arranged as vertically as possible to get nice slices later.
Make incisions in the plastic bottle above the octopus, about 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) apart. Cut off the top of the bottle such that the strips of plastic that are sticking out are about the same length as the diameter of the bottle.