Even though this recipe is bursting with Portuguese flavours, we really prefer the Japanese technique of using daikon to clean the octoptus. It allows the octopus to maintain an appealing appearance while being tenderized. It’s possible to find already cooked octopus at a fishmonger but, even though this option might simplify your life, it will undoubtedly be less flavourful, and more expensive than preparing it yourself.
Using a good commercial mayonnaise for the sauce is definitely an option, especially when you use the Peri-Peri spice blend and some garlic to punch it up a bit.
Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil.
Wash the octopus and remove the eyes and the beak.
Place the octopus in a large bowl with the daikon and rub vigorously for 5 minutes to remove the “slime” as well as to tenderize. Let rest 5 more minutes.
Rinse well. Soak in boiling water for 10 seconds then remove. Allow water to re-boil. Repeat twice more.
Cook for 5 minutes in boiling water. Remove and hang the octopus to cool for 1 hour. Discard the water.
Cut off the eight tentacles from the body.
Mix vinegar, spices, garlic and olive oil in a bowl.
Heat the grill on medium.
Brush the octopus pieces using half the marinade then grill for 5-10 minutes, making sure to brown all sides.
Remove from the heat, cut into slices. Brush the octopus pieces with the remaining marinade and serve with the aioli.
To prepare the aioli, place the egg yolks, chopped garlic, vinegar, water, salt and spices in a blender to obtain a smooth liquid. (A stick hand blender would be ideal).
Incorporate the oil little by little; slowly at the beginning and then somewhat faster to obtain a smooth, thick mayonnaise. Keeps well for a few days when refrigerated.