Octopus is a very popular dish in Malta. The most traditional recipe is Stuffat tal-qarnit which is octopus stew in tomato sauce. In Portugal, octopus is also very popular being one of the dishes eaten during Christmas Eve along with codfish. But in the coastal areas, from where I came from, we like Octopus rice. The base is the same as the stew but less tomato sauce. And instead of potatoes, we add rice. I find it to be a delicious dish where you can enjoy the taste of the octopus without others flavours overpowering it.
In the north of Portugal, one of the traditional dishes for Christmas is Octopus stew. It’s very similar to the Maltese recipe. But we always add vegetables to it like carrots and potatoes. I believe that in Malta, potatoes are not always used and sometimes the stew can be used as sauce for pasta. I like all these recipes as I love octopus and I think it all goes very well together.
And while trying to cook all these recipes, I came across a really easy way to cook octopus (you can find it here). My mum uses the pressure cooker, adds water, salt and 1 whole onion. This way is great if you don’t have the time. But I find that adding water to the octopus, you will dilute the flavour that get released during the cooking process. In my new way, you cook the octopus without adding any water or salt or anything! And it works, believe me. I’ve tried several time and it never fails. Try it when you cook this delicious octopus rice recipe 🙂