Photography courtesy of Soni Pomaski
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Author: Chef Mark Pomaski of Moon & Turtle, Hilo Hawai‘i


  • High Power Blender
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Grill Pan or Grill


  • 1 Large ( 3-4 lbs. ) Octopus Cleaned
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tea Bag Black, Green, or Oolong
  • 3-4 Large Ripe Tomatoes Cut Into Bit Sized Pieces
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion Thinly Sliced
  • 2-3 Stalks of Scallion Green Parts Only - Julienned and Rinsed in Cold Water
  • 1 Bunch Watercress Washed, Drained, and Cut into ¾ Inch Pieces.


  • 12 Large Cloves of Garlic
  • 1.5 oz. Fish Sauce
  • 2 oz. Rice Vinegar
  • 2 oz. Lemon Juice


  • Place all dressing ingredients into a high-power blender and puree until garlic is completely broken down. Unused dressing will keep one week.
  • Place octopus, garlic, bay leaves, and tea bag in a pressure cooker and cover with salted water (use ¼ cup salt per ½ gallon water, or less to taste).
  • Bring to full pressure, cook for 15 minutes, and use the quick-release method to relieve pressure. Allow octopus to cool to room temperature in its cooking liquid, strain, and chill. (Reserve cooking liquid for use in another recipe, such as a seafood soup.)
  • Once chilled, divide into 4 sections by separating the head and tentacles and cutting each piece in half.
  • Toss lightly with vegetable oil and grill over high heat until warmed through and slightly charred.
  • Slice into bite-sized pieces and place into a large mixing bowl along with tomato and sweet onion.
  • Gently toss with a liberal amount of dressing and plate onto a bed of watercress. Garnish with scallions.