Skip to Content

Can You Eat Live Octopus

Can You Eat Live Octopus

Can You Eat Live Octopus

Octopus can be eaten alive but nutritionist does not recommend it.It could kill you if it is not prepared properly. In some parts of the world live octopus is delicacy including South Korea and Japan. Raw octopus taste like salty and sweet at the same time. 

Eating a live octopus is known as eating it alive, as octopus is still alive when cooked. There is a popular Korean dish involving raw octopus that is so fresh it is literally alive Raw octopus is so fresh it is literally alive, or at least that is what the eating alive octopus name suggests.

Sannakji may also be consumed by wrapping a live octopus in a pair of chopsticks and eating it whole, starting with its head. The octopus is eaten either whole, wrapped around chopsticks, or chopped up and eaten with sesame oil, still alive. The risks are greatly increased when the arms of the octopus are cut up into larger pieces, or when the raw octopus is eaten whole, which is a unique, yet still practiced, method of eating it.

It is disassembling and eating the octopus when it is still alive, however, which is another story entirely. Not because an octopus can strike back, as one unfortunate video blogger experienced recently on livestream, but because the living ocean creature is a choke-hold danger.

Find out would you eat live octopus

Because the octopus muscles are still working, it serves as a tentacled sight on your plate, sliding chaotically like that single scene with a snake in Indiana Jones. Octopus is not what people initially enjoy eating, but it is pretty delicious when cooked right. If you order this, you are met with sliced baby octopus tentacles that are still bobbing around the plate, served with minimal accompaniments such as garlic slivers and a side of soy sauce.

Baby octopus is usually consumed whole, whereas larger varieties are sliced up, with still-wriggling tentacles eaten with a spritz of sesame oil. In many parts of the world, eating octopus whole, uncooked and still very alive, is considered a delicacy. Sannakji, a popular South Korean and Japanese dish which translates as live octopus, is a raw dish which is consumed by eating chopped up, raw, flailing pieces of the octopus limbs topped with sesame oil. The dish is called sannakji in South Korea: a live octopus that has been either sliced in smaller pieces, or cooked whole, and served with the arms still wiggling, sucking, and gripping.

WaterWash off the octopus properly
Plastic BagThen put it inside a plastic bag and seal it properly
FreezerIn the end, place it in the freezer to preserve it for a long time
Steps required to preserve octopus.

Live octopus is a delicious food in Korea, but it is known as a choke hazard, as still-moving suckers may result in pieces of the tentacles getting stuck in the persons throat. In South Korea and Japan, especially, people can chomp on the tentacles of a still-moving octopus. In Seoul, South Korea, whole restaurants are built around eating octopuses that have arms that keep moving as they are placed on a plate–and as they are being shoved down a persons throat.

I doubt that they are simply throwing the octopus onto a cutting board and cutting away pieces as they go, and are certainly inflicting this animals distress. I have trouble having any empathy whatsoever for the person choking a living animal they are eating, piece by piece. If you are eating meat — let alone live octopus — you are likely wondering whether eating this living animal is cruel, whether they might experience any pain during the process.

This capacity for self-determination indicates the octopus is capable of feeling pain, and can recall the source, as well as their concepts, complicating the experience of eating live octopus. Knowing this information makes it less likely that an octopus will not experience the pain from being eaten. This is not to say that crustaceans cannot experience the same painful stimuli, anticipation, and memories from painful events as an octopus.

If you’re interested in Can You Eat The Human Brain, take a look at my other article.

You know that an octopus is delicate when you can slip your paring knife through its flesh with very little resistance. It is possible to eat the octopus raw (alive, though let us say you do not think that is intrinsically cruel), and can be prepared using fast-cooking methods like stir-frying, although this is more of a risk than squid, a related animal which starts off far slower. Once you have cooked your octopus to a point where it is soft, you can serve it immediately, still warm; chill it, and then use it that way in cold dishes (I love this one in a seafood salad); or sear or broil your octopus to browned, crispy outer parts.

If you want to preserve any skin, you are better off cooling your octopus down once cooked, which will actually make it a bit sturdier. Frozen or chilled octopus is already cleaned, so you can prepare it at home without worrying. When you are done, you can freeze your Octopus in the bag, opening the bag when you are ready to go. According to Kim Sang-jin, head chef, first, you need to hold the octopus head down and squeeze its tentacles down, removing its mucilage, as this is not a good thing to eat.

The octopus is squeezed to remove the mucus (if it is not removed, it gives the octopus a foul flavor), and the head is then cut in two. The octopus is left alive for some time, and the chefs cut open the head of the octopus to pull out its guts. You can slice an octopus before cooking, although most of the time cooking it whole and cutting it off afterwards is easier (sous vide is an exception to this).

If you’re interested in Are Potatoes Healthier Than Carrots, take a look at my other article.

My thinking is if you had the entire octopus and tried to eat it, it would be an entirely alienating situation, as the octopus will be trying to crawl off. If you are allergic to any kind of shellfish, like oysters, scallops, or shrimp, then you will have to steer clear of eating octopus too. People who are allergic to shellfish cannot eat shrimp, lobster, crab, clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, squid, octopus, and other types of seafood.

The practice of eating live seafood, such as fish, crab, oysters, small shrimp, or small octopus, is common. I decided that I could not leave Korea without trying one of these odd dishes, so I picked out a tent at Jagalchi Fish Market, entered, and ordered a live octopus. You can watch the slightly unflattering video below where I ate a live octopus, and tried living octopus for the first time. There was a discussion that I had with PETA about somebody grilling alive octopus in NYC, and they asked me for my comments about it.

Can you choke on a live octopus?

Although regarded as a treat in South Korea, live octopus is a known choking hazard due to the potential for tentacle parts to become lodged in the throat of still-moving suction cups. While larger species are sliced up and the still-moving tentacles eaten with a dab of sesame oil, a young octopus is frequently swallowed whole.

Click here to view the visual Story version of this article.

Is it safe to eat a live octopus?

Even though eating a live octopus is considered a delicacy in many East Asian countries like South Korea and Japan, it can also be fatal. If your live octopus is not cooked correctly, it could kill you, and the suckers of the octopus could act as choking hazards.

What does eating live octopus taste like?

If you eat a live octopus, you will feel a taste that is both salty and sweet. It will have a subtler nutty flavor if you complement your live octopus with seasonings like sesame oil. The texture also feels smooth, slimy, and rubbery.

Skip to content