Without too much introduction, for Malaysia Day (16/9), I decided to make a fusion of my favourite foods from my adopted country and the land of my birth. I love rendang, its my go-to dish when I want to wow new dinner guests. And I love octopus. I was practically an adult when I first tried this 8-tentacled mollusc and it is something I distinctively think of as Greek. This is the first time I have attempted to make this dish, and I adapted it from my Grandma’s great Chicken Rendang recipe.
I have decided to keep the ingredients as simple as possible – the octopus is salty and the juices from the octopus will already taste sweet so there is no sugar, salt or pepper to add – just the rendang ‘holy trinity’, coconut milk, kerisik and chilli paste (according to taste). I didn’t want the chilli to overpower the delicate flavour of the octopus, so I only used 1 tablespoon.
It tastes super yummy, please do give it a try if you can find octopus. I will make it again soon, and I hope to take more pictures. Enjoy, my Greek-Malaysian fusion Octopus Rendang.
Ingredients: (makes 4 portions, which is enough for 2-4 people, depending on how hungry you are.. or greedy.)
1 octopus, cleaned (mine came up to 800g)
1 can of coconut milk
The Rendang Holy Trinity
2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, chopped/sliced thinly.
2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, sliced into thin matchsticks.
4-5 small shallots, sliced thinly into strips.
1. Rinse the cleaned octopus. Cut them into several pieces. I cut the legs/tentacles off and the center part into 2.
2. Pre-cook the octopus. Add it into a pot, cover and just braise it on medium heat. No need to add water! The octopus will cook in its own juices. Depends on the size of the octopus, but I check how soft it is with a toothpick/small fork after 20 minutes. If it’s a medium-large sized octopus you may need 30 minutes. You will end up with that:-
4. Into a pot, add the juices, the holy trinity ingredients, the coconut milk, and the chilli paste. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes.
5. Add the octopus pieces, and mix well.