Low-amine braised octopus sounded like a good dinner idea at the time. Two hours later, I was proven right. It was delicious. The octopus and choy sum is served in a Spring Onion broth that balances the saltier low-amine “soy sauce” flavor a bit and makes it more delicate. This dish can be served split into two main components (as shown above), or served all together. I would have preferred to use fresh octopus, as it is both tastier and lower in amines, but I was not able to. If you can get fresh octopus, do so!
2 lb octopus, cut into small pieces.
20 pcs. baby choy sum (or baby bok choy)
2/3 C soy sauce substitute
2 medium yellow onions
5 Tbsp ginger slices, divided (3T, 2T)
10 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbsp butter or safflower oil
1 bundle green onions
2 kombu pieces
1/2 tsp nigella seeds (optional)
- Make soy sauce substitute, if you haven’t already. I suggest making a double batch so that you have some for later, but it’s up to you.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Cut one onion into rings and line the bottom of a dutch oven with the rings. Add about 3 Tbsp ginger slices on top.
- Add octopus on top of the ginger and onion, and pour 2/3 C soy sauce substitute over the top. Close the dutch oven and put it in the oven. Set timer for 1 hour 20 minutes.
- Roughly chop remaining onion, and cut 2 Tbsp ginger into matchsticks.
- Heat butter/oil and cook garlic until starting to brown. Remove from heat.
- In a larger pot, add onion, ginger, kombu, garlic, and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover.
- When the timer goes off, add well-washed choy sum to the dutch oven. Return to the oven for another 40 minutes.
- Strain broth out using a colander, and return to the pot. Keep broth on low and warm.
- Wash green onions and cut off roots. Discard roots.
- Slice green onions on a sharp diagonal. 5 minutes before the octopus is done, turn heat on broth back up, and add green onions. Cook until lightly tender.
- Scoop out octopus and choy sum and serve in a deep dish or bowl. You can separate the choy sum from the octopus and onion, or serve it together.
- Ladle the spring onion broth around it, and serve with a sprinkle of nigella seeds.
Very Low Amine: baby choy sum (or bok choy), onion, ginger, garlic, green onion
High Amine: kombu pieces
Unknown: nigella seeds (optional)
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