• Wakame and octopus salad (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

Most of the octopus you buy from fish suppliers has already been tenderised, but if you need to do it yourself, place the octopus in a large bowl with a good pinch of salt and massage well until it starts to go whiter and foamy. Food Safari Water






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (45 votes)

Rinse and repeat this process 4-7 times. 


  • 200 g fresh wakame (see Note)  
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways and seeds removed  
  • 1 red apple, very finely sliced  
  • 100 g tenderised, boiled octopus (see note)  
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds  
  • 10 g ginger, peeled and cut into julienne 

Dashi stock 

  • 5 cm x 10 cm square dried kombu, soaked in 1-litre cold water overnight  
  • 15 g bonito flakes  

Vinegar sauce   

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) dashi stock (see Note)
  • 30 ml rice vinegar  
  • 2 tsp Japanese soy sauce  
  • 1 tsp sugar  

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


For the dashi, place the kombu and soaking water in a saucepan and bring to just below the boil. Just before the water boils, remove the pan from the heat. Add the bonito flakes, then strain into a bowl. The dashi will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

For the vinegar sauce, place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Blanch the wakame in a saucepan of boiling water for a few seconds, then drain and refresh in iced water. Drain again, then place on a clean tea towel. Pat dry and squeeze out the excess water.

Thinly slice the cucumber on the diagonal, then place in a bowl with the apple. Season with a pinch of salt, toss to coat well and stand for 5 minutes. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid and place the cucumber and apple in a serving bowl.

Slice the octopus into bite-size pieces and the wakame into medium strips. Add to the bowl with the cucumber and apple. Rinse the ginger julienne briefly under cold water, drain well and add to the bowl, reserving one third for garnishing. Spoon the vinegar sauce over the octopus and gently toss. Serve scattered with the sesame seeds and remaining ginger.

• If you can’t get fresh wakame, you can rehydrate a 24g of dried wakame.

• To cook the octopus, drop into a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the tentacles start to curl and firm up. Drain and refresh in iced water to stop the cooking process. Slice the octopus between the tentacles and discard the beak.

• You may use powdered dashi stock if needed.

Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Belinda So.


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