Teriyaki-Glazed Grilled Octopus

Chef David Sellers’s Teriyaki-Glazed Grilled Octopus, like the food he serves at his restaurant Horno, is all about contrasts. Here, there is richness from the teriyaki, balanced by the acidity from the yuzu and heat from the wasabi. To drink, Chef Sellers suggests L’Escale, a Sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley. It’s juicy, fresh and can hold its own with this dish.

Teriyaki-Glazed Grilled Octopus Recipe


For the octopus braise:
¼ cup canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 cup white wine
3 lemons, sliced in half
4 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt
3 ½ -4 lb octopus

For the sticky rice:
1 cup sushi rice or similar short grain Southeast Asian rice variety
½ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 bunch green onion, sliced

For the wasabi emulsion:
½ cup wasabi powder
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup canola oil

For the teriyaki glaze:
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup orange juice
Juice of 3 limes
¼ cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch

For the yuzu aoili:
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp yuzu juice
1 cup canola oil
Pinch salt

For garnish:
Furikake spice*


  1. Warm the canola oil in a small roasting dish or pot large enough to hold the octopus. Over medium heat, sauté the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in the oil until translucent.
  2. Deglaze with white wine and add the lemons, bay leaves, thyme, and season with salt. Add 4 cups water, bring to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and add the whole octopus. Cook covered in a 225-degree oven for one hour 45 minutes. Check for tenderness, if not quite ready give it another 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the octopus from the liquid and cool in a refrigerator until completely cold. Cut off the head and discard. Slice off the legs individually.
  4. To make the rice, bring the sushi rice to a simmer in 1 ½ cups of water, cover, and cook until just tender. Turn rice out into a bowl.
  5. In a small saucepan combine the rice wine vinegar, sugar, and green onion and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Season with a pinch of salt. Mix gently with rice and set aside.
  6. To make the wasabi emulsion, combine the wasabi powder, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and ¼ cup water. Stir until mixed and the sugar dissolves. Let rest for 15 minutes then whisk in the oil until emulsified.
  7. To make the teriyaki glaze, combine the soy sauce, orange juice, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan; simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Mix cornstarch with a small amount of water and whisk into the mixture. The sauce should thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes and let cool completely.
  8. To make the yuzu aioli, combine egg yolks and yuzu juice in a food processor. Turn the food processor on high and slowly add the canola oil until well incorporated. It should resemble a mayonnaise. Season with salt to taste.
  9. Brush the octopus pieces with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on a hot grill until slightly charred all over. Slice the octopus into pieces.
  10. To plate, smear a dollop of the yuzu aioli on six plates. Divide the rice among 6 plates, and place the octopus on top of and around the rice. Spoon wasabi emulsion and teriyaki glaze on and around the octopus. Sprinkle furikake spice over the middle of each dish to your liking.

*Note: Furikake spice is a mixture of nori seaweed, sesame, chile, and other delicious things and is available in most Asian markets.

Recipe by Chef David Sellers of Horno / Story and Styling by Julia Platt Leonard / Support from Alex Hanna / Photography by Kate Russell

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