April 20, 2020


by chef Michael Deg of Cavalli

Serves 4



1 small vulgaris octopus

1 lemon

1 orange

1 lime

2 sticks lemongrass

Teriyaki glaze

50ml soya sauce

100ml hoisin sauce

100ml sweet chilli sauce

4t maple syrup

1t sesame oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

25ml lime juice

zest of 2 limes

10g ginger, finely chopped

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

30ml mixed sesame seeds

Apple mousse

5 green apples

50g butter

2 leaves slaked gelatin

400ml full-fat cream

Grilled cos

1 small head baby cos lettuce

1 lime, zested

Smoked-chilli aioli

4 egg yolks

2T white wine vinegar

4t smooth Dijon mustard

4t chipotle sauce

2t sweet chilli sauce

2C sunflower oil (or just enough for desired consistency)


1 green apple

50ml lemon juice

2 small red radishes

1 small punnet mustard cress

pickled ginger (either homemade or good quality, try to avoid the dyed ginger)

2 limes, segmented



  1. Wash the octopus thoroughly under cold running water (very important as there is often grit in them). Slice the tentacles from the head, reserve.
  2. Slice all the fruit in thin, uniform slices and break the lemongrass into small pieces.
  3. Place the tentacles in a vacuum-pack bag evenly so they all lying flat, add the sliced fruit evenly and the lemongrass.
  4. Seal and vacuum-pack the bag. Cook in a sous-vide bath at 77°C for 6 hours, or in a bain-marie covered with water in an oven at 85°C for 6 hours.
  5. Once cooked, take the bag and place directly in ice water. Once cooled take the octopus out the bag and reserve on paper towel in the fridge until needed. The cooking of the octopus is probably a better idea if done the day before.

Teriyaki glaze

  1. Combine soya, hoisin, sweet chilli, maple syrup, sesame oil, onions and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a large pot to slightly reduce and become sticky and shiny, this should be done at a low heat.
  3. Let the mix cool down and once at room temperature add the lime juice and zest, ginger, spring onion, chilli and sesame seeds to the glaze and whisk well. Keep in the fridge until needed.

Apple mousse

  1. Make an apple purée by peeling and roughly chopping the apples and cooking them in a wide-bottomed pot on a medium heat, in butter.
  2. Once cooked and soft, blend until smooth, transfer to the fridge and cool down.
  3. Meanwhile whisk the cream, take the slaked gelatin leaves and mix with a little of the apple purée and in a small pot on a low heat, mix the gelatin in the purée.
  4. Once fully incorporated with no lumps, fold back in the apple purée and then fold the cream into the purée a little at a time, reserve in a sealed container until needed.

Smoked-chilli aioli

  1. In a blender, blend the egg yolks, white-wine vinegar, mustard, chipotle sauce and sweet chilli sauce until smooth, for about 2 minutes.
  2. Slowly add the oil to make an emulsion. Once thick transfer to a plastic bottle with a small nozzle, reserve in the fridge.

Grilled cos

  1. Cut the cos lettuce into quarters and wash thoroughly under cold water, reserve in fridge.


  1. Peel the apple, and evenly dice the apple and reserve in the lemon juice.
  2. Wash the radishes and slice very finely using a mandolin slicer and reserve in ice water.
  3. Finely slice the pickled ginger, trim and wash the mustard cress and dry on paper towel.


  1. Either use a charcoal braai or an indoor-gas grill, at a high heat grill the cos lettuce to get good markings on it, but don’t overcook the lettuce as it will go limp. You’re rather looking for that charred, smokey flavour. Take it off the heat and add the lime zest and some seasoning to it and reserve in a warm place by the grill.
  2. On the same grill as the cos lettuce at a high heat, quickly grill the octopus tentacles to get a good char on them. Take off the heat and in a pan that will go on the grill, add the teriyaki glaze and the octopus together and bring to the boil so the glaze becomes sticky around the octopus. Be careful not to over-reduce the glaze, there is also no need to season the octopus, there is enough salt coming through the glaze. Take off the heat and gently place the octopus on the plate and spoon some of the sticky glaze over the octopus.
  3. Spoon some of the mousse on the plates, add the grilled cos lettuce and the aioli. Between the plates evenly and neatly add all the garnish around the octopus and immediately serve while the octopus is warm.
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