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Deep-fried Octopus (Octopus Karaage)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Deep-fried Octopus is an octopus version of Karaage. Marinated octopus pieces are coated in corn flour/cornstarch, then deep-fried for no more than a minute. Octopus Karaage is an Izakaya dishes and perfect to goes perfectly with drinks. But it is also a great side dish.

Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.

Recipe Type: Appetiser, Main, Side
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: izakaya food, octopus recipe
Serves: 2 as main, 4 as side
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 200g/7.1oz octopus tentacles (uncooked, note 1)
  • 1 tbsp corn flour/cornstarch (or wheat flour if you ran out of corn flour)
  • Oil to deep-fry
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ginger grated
  • ½ tsp garlic grated
  1. Gently pound the octopus tentacles using a meat pounder (flat side) or a heavy pestle. This tenderises the flesh.

  2. Cut the tentacles into small bite-size pieces. Cut into about 2cm/¾” long at the fattest part, cut longer as you get to the thinner part of the tentacle.

  3. Put the Marinade ingredients and octopus pieces in a zip lock bag and massage well.

  4. Remove air as much as possible, seal the bag and marinate for 15 minutes (note 3).

  5. Drain the marinade and dry the octopus pieces with a couple of pieces of kitchen paper. Ensure that you dry the centre of the suction cups (water = oil splatter).

  6. Dust the octopus pieces with corn flour/cornstarch.

  7. Fill a small deep-frying pan or a shallow saucepan with oil to 2.5cm/1” deep (note 4). Heat the oil to 180°C/356°F.

  8. Gently drop a half or a third (depending on the size of your pan) of the octopus pieces into the oil and fry for no more than 1 minute (note 5). Roll the octopus pieces a couple of times while frying.

  9. Transfer the octopus to a tray with a rack or lined with kitchen paper to drain excess oil.

  10. Pile the cooked octopus up on a serving plate. Serve while hot or at room temperature (note 5).

Recipe Notes

1. I used uncooked octopus but you can use boiled octopus too.

To reduce oil splatter, you may want to peel the skin off the octopus tentacles, particularly the thick part of the tentacles. You can also cut off the suction cups. Peeled octopus pieces lack colour when deep-fried but the flavour and the texture are not much different from those with skin on.

2. If you are using boiled octopus, marinate for 30-40 minutes.

3. I would strongly recommend that you use a small pan/pot to deep-fry the octopus in batches so that the oil splatter becomes manageable.

4. Use a large saucepan lid as a shield to protect your body against oil splatter. I hold the lid in front of my body, at an angle so that the lid is diagonally placed above the oil, while giving you room to turn the octopus pieces over.

5. I served with green salad leaves to add a bright colour to the dish. You can also add a lemon wedge to sprinkle a small amount of lemon juice over the octopus pieces.

6. Nutrition per serving as a main dish. It is assumed that the oil absorption rate of octopus is 6% and 1/2 of the marinade is absorbed into the octopus.

serving: 111g calories: 138kcal fat: 7.1g (11%) saturated fat: 0.6g (3%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 1.3g monounsaturated fat: 4.5g cholesterol: 48mg (16%) sodium: 450mg (19%) potassium: 370mg (11%) carbohydrates: 2.6g (1%) dietary fibre: 0g (0%) sugar: 0g protein: 15g vitamin a: 3% vitamin c: 8.5% calcium: 4.2% iron: 30%