Octopus Kilawen

"Octopus ceviche-esque recipe with the Ilocano touch"
photo by Alien Chronicles photo by Alien Chronicles
photo by Alien Chronicles
Ready In:
1hr 6mins




  • Fill an 8-quart stock pot with water, add salt, and sliced ginger roots. Bring water to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes to allow ginger root essence to permeate the water.
  • Wash the octopus under running cold water. Invert its head inside out like a sock. Holding the head of the octopus with a pair of tynes, completely submerge the octopus into the boiling water and count 10 seconds -- 1001, 1002, 1003, etc.
  • With the tynes still attached to the head of the octopus, lift it out of the stock pot and rest it in a holding pan. Allow water to come to a boil before resubmerging the octopus as in Step 1. Repeat step one 3 times.
  • After the third submersion turn the heat down to simmer. Put the octopus into the pot of simmering water, drop 3 pieces of used cork from wine bottles and cover.
  • After 10 - 15 minutes, using the tynes pierce the octopus' neck between the head and tentacles. Feel the resistance. If the tynes feel a "crunchy, soft and tender" insertion, it is time to remove the octopus from the pot and let sit in the holding pan to cool.
  • Remove the head of the octopus, severing above the tentacles. Slice tentacles individually to the thickness desired. Cut straight across the tentacles. Slicing diagonally makes the cuts tougher to chew. Set the sliced octopus aside.
  • To create the cheviche sauce, mince the cilantro leaves, slice very thinly the white portion of the green scallions, and mix it with the rest of the lime juice, vinegar, ginger roots and crushed tomatoes and hot peppers. Season with salt to taste.

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Information specialist, musician, and educator (ret). Loves to cook Filipino native dishes (with a focus on Ilocano delicacies) using authentic recipes. I don't subscribe to the ill-conceived modern day, experimental, high fructose corn syrup sugar-laden way of preparing Filipino food. Granted, there are some Filipino delicacies that requires an acquired taste to appreciate. But it is worth the effort. My family, friends, and I enjoy my cooking.
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