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Octopus carpaccio with charcoal oil on the Big Green Egg

BBQ based version of this tender and tasty Italian starter dish.

For the charcoal oil, I used about 250ml of cold pressed rapeseed oil and birch wood charcoal from The Oxford Charcoal Company.

Light a small pile of charcoal with a fire starter or the looflighter in a bbq; I used the Thuros tabletop. The oil is placed in a pan with a tight fitting lid. Choose a small piece of charcoal, about the size of a golf ball, and once it is white all over, i.e. lit, pick this up with tongs and place it into the oil. This will smoke lots, just place the lid on pan and allow to cool. Once cold, filter through a sieve and kitchen roll into a jug then transfer into a pouring or kitchen squeeze bottle for use.

Ingredients for the carpaccio:

Octopus, approx. 1 kg.

A sprig of fresh rosemary

Black and Pink peppercorns

Sea salt, 1 tbsp

To serve:

Chopped parsley and basil

Charcoal oil


Sea salt flakes

Wash the octopus, assuming it has already been cleaned by the fishmonger. Fill a large pan about half way with water and add the salt, rosemary, black and pink peppercorns and place on the heat. In this instance I have cooked the whole recipe on the Big Green Egg. Bring the water to the boil and place the octopus in, cover and leave simmering for an hour. After this time, remove the pan from the heat and allow the octopus to cool in the cooking water; this step helps with keeping it tender.

Once cooled, take it out of the water, cut into large pieces, keeping the tentacles in whole pieces. Take a plastic bottle which has been cut in half and with some holes pierced in the bottom. Place the octopus in the bottle and press down to remove excess moisture and air gaps. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Take the block of octopus out of the bottle and slice thinly with a knife, I used the big slicer I use for briskets.

Place on a plate, sprinkle with the charcoal oil with a squeeze of the lemon along with the sea salt flakes, chopped parsley and basil.

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