Pulpo 101

I LOVE PULPO!        
 Pulpo is what the yucatecos call octopus.  I don’t know if that’s what they call it in the rest of Mexico, but here in the yucatan it is pulpo.  And it is a BIG business here, well along the coast, not directly here in Merida.  Most of the pulpo caught here is exported, but some of it makes its way to Merida.
We have a fellow from Hunucma, who has family who are pescadores/fishermen around Celestun.  Lucio comes to Merida on the bus, wih a cooler full of seafood 6 days a week.  He stops by our house every so often, or calls.  We frequently buy seafood from him;  Fish fillets, shrimp, lobstertails, jaiba/crab, and just recently octopus.  His stuff is always fresh, caught within the last day or two, and always a good price.
He recently came with several kilos of pulpo.  I love pulpo but have never made it myself.  So I decided to buy a 1kilo bag.   We like Lucio very much, we know his family, attended his youngest sons baptismo, and we like to support him.
So, with pulpo in hand my first stop, well after the fridge, was the internet.  Gads, what had I gotten myself into….
first thing was to clean the buggers, blech,  soak, rinse, soak, rinse, separate head from body, peel the skin from the head, rinse, rinse, rinse…remove beak, pull all the goop out of the head without breaking the ink sac, soak, rinse, soak, rinse,
ummm, pretty

I ended up with 3 head sacs, and two bodies.  These bodies were more than a foot long.
Once I/we had  the pulpo all cleaned I made a marinade  and we soaked the pulpo for about 4 hours, then we grilled it.
I don’t have any photos of the grilled pulpo, it was quite pretty, and so very difficult to chew. 
We tried several things and finally gave up.   –  I think I will be eating my pulpo out! 
I’m sure there are easy ways to tenderize it – we’ve heard several – soak in milk, pressure cook for 45 minutes, hold the tentacles and smack the thick part against the counter many times….
It was a grand adventure, but not productive.  I will have to do more research, like maybe talk to someone who does actually prepare pulpo….
but for now,  I will enjoy my pulpo prepared by someone else!
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About Debi in Merida

I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA to Merida, Yucatan, MX in January 2006. I love to read, garden, travel, and hang out with friends.
This entry was posted in Cooking, Everyday Life, pulpo. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pulpo 101

  1. Steve – I experument alot in cooking, and I'll try just about anything, although someone was talking about haggus the other day, I mean really, oatmeal and blood – WHY? Pass!
    Chrissey y Keith – we're trying a place on Wed or Thurs with a friend that is supposed to have AMAZING octopus. I'll let you know!

  2. Pulpo is one of my favorite things too. And I have given up making myself for all the reason you mentioned. Yes, it is called Pulpo throughout Mexico. We have been known to drive 8 hours to Guaymas just to eat it. I do think that they beat the heck out of it, and then pressure cook it. When done correctly it is as tender as ever, done wrong you can chew it for hours

  3. Steve Cotton says:

    Wow! I am proud of you for doing a bit of experimental cooking. It is called pulpo on this coast, as well. I think you get more Maya octopus over your way; we get the common octopus. I love it in the restaurant, but it seems as puttery as tongue to prepare.

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