Sous Vide Tender Octopus in Mole Sauce

Anova Culinary

Mexican seafood is a delight and needs to be on more menus in American kitchens. This delicious and tender octopus recipe blends the meaty and lush tender texture of octopus with the spicy and velvety mole sauce.


Zach Johnston

A self-described traveler, drinker, eater, writer, photographer, and adventurer, Zach knows when good food is on the horizon he'll turn to his Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to ensure it's perfectly done time after time.

Prep Time: 00:30

Recipe Time: 05:00

Temperature : 170F / 76.7C



  1. Set Anova Precision Cooker to 170F/76.5C.
  2. Clean octopus. Remove heads from octopus by cutting about halfway between the head and the tentacles. Remove the beak with the tip of your knife.
  3. Blanche octopus. Bring a large stockpot of water to the boil, without salt. Drop the octopus in the water for 2-3 minutes to firm them up.
  4. Immediately drop into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  5. Cut one octopus in half with 4 tentacles on each piece. Cut the second octopus into 8 pieces, or one for each tentacle. Add the octopus, olive oil, salt, and lime juice to a ziploc bag or vacuum seal bag.
  6. Place the bag in the water bath and remove the air using the water submersion method if using a ziploc. The bag will float. Don't worry, it'll sink within 5 minutes of going in the hot bath. Set timer for 5 hours!

Finishing Steps -- Sear and Dress

  1. Remove bag from the water bath. Scoop out the tentacles with tongs and save the water in the bag for soup or broth later.
  2. Heat a large skillet with a knob of butter until it's piping hot. Add the pieces of octopus to sear very quickly -- maybe 30 seconds each side.
  3. Toss the seared octopus in the mole gravy. This should be a fast coating in hot sauce. You don't want to keep the octopus cooking.
  4. Garnish and serve immediately. I used fresh cilantro, thinly sliced red onion, and Antirrhinum flowers (snapdragons) for their biting bitterness that works wonders with seafood.

Optional Mole Sauce

  1. Toast a heaping tablespoon each sesame seeds, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
  2. Soak a dried ancho chili and 2-4 pasilla chilis in water that's just boiled.
  3. Grind nuts, seeds, and chilis into a paste in a food processor or with a pestle and mortar.
  4. In a small pot, sweat 1 shallot, 1 habanero chili, 1 jalapeno, and 1 clove of garlic ... all finely diced.
  5. Add paste with pinches of cinnamon, allspice, star anise, and clove to the pot and stir until a fond forms on the bottom of the pot.
  6. Slowly add 2 cups/.25l of chicken stock while whisking together. A loose gravy should form.
  7. Add 100g/3.5oz of 95% dark chocolate. Whisk until well blended.
  8. Turn down heat to a low simmer, cover, and let reduce by 1/2 until a smooth gravy forms.