While I’ve had souse (protein and vegetable pickle with a cold spicy broth) made from the less glamorous parts of the pig (ears, snout and trotters) and the odd time I’ve done it using chicken feet, this is my new favorite way to make this Classic Caribbean Pickle. Our culinary culture in the Caribbean is one where the entire animal is used.. and with very TASTY results. Supposedly this is a great ‘cure’ for hangovers!
1 – 2 Octopus tentacles
1 cucumber (sliced thin)
2 scallions (sliced thin)
1 clove garlic (smashed)
1 scotch bonnet pepper (sliced thin)
2 limes (juice)
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon shado beni (or cilantro) chopped
Important! Wear gloves when handling such hot peppers and do wash your hands with soap and water immediately after. By keeping the seeds of the pepper it will enhance the overall heat of the dish. Discard the seeds and white membrane surrounding the seeds if you wish to cut back on the heat.
Note: The Octopus I used was a gift from a friend and it was already fully cooked (boiled it would seem).
Thinly slice the Octopus, pepper, cucumber (leave the skin on if you wish) and the scallions. Place in a bowl big enough so you can easily toss everything.
Basically all you have to do now is add the salt, black pepper, garlic, lime juice (a combination of 1 lime and 1 lemon works great as well), water and Shado Beni (or cilantro) and give it a good mix.
I’d recommend chilling this Octopus Souse before serving and after it’s been marinating for an hour or so, you may need to adjust the salt to your liking. It keeps in the fridge (in a sealed plastic container for at least 2-3 days). Conch, Oysters and Spiny Lobster can be used in the same manner with excellent results.
Do you own a copy of my cookbook ?- The Vibrant Caribbean Pot 100 Traditional And Fusion recipes Vol 2