1.5kg octopus, whole
100g fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
1 bouquet garni
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Thai red chilli
1 red pepper
60ml sesame oil
20ml fish sauce
40ml lime juice
¼ Thai red chilli
4 crushed white peppercorns
Avocado purée 4 avocados, peeled and stoned
3tbs crème fraÎche
Juice of two limes
Finishing garnish 2 large red peppers, roasted in olive oil, with garlic and thyme, to taste
30 pieces of wild wood sorrel
Korean red pepper to taste
50g roasted pine nuts
Place the octopus into a large pot, cover with water and slowly bring up to a simmer.
Skim and add the carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, bouquet garni, chilli, pepper and lime. Ensure the pot is constantly at a simmer.
Cook for 20 minutes and allow to completely cool with all the ingredients still in the pot.
After cooling remove the octopus and discard the stock and vegetables. Discard the head of the octopus but keep the tentacles. Divide the tentacles into four equal piles and wrap in clingfilm to a diameter of 50mm. Put in the freezer for about four hours so the octopus retains its shape when sliced.
For the dressing, mix the lemon juice, fish sauce and the oil, season with peppercorn and infuse with chilli.
Cut the octopus into thin slices either using a machine or a very sharp knife, then carefully remove the clingfilm and arrange the slices neatly on a large flat plate. Typically we would place 20 slices per plate in a symmetrical fashion. Brush with the sesame dressing.
Put the avocados into a mixer. Pulse the fruit with the lime juice then turn it up to full speed, adding the crème fraÎche, salt to taste, then finally the Tabasco.
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, then place it in either a piping bag or a squeezy bottle.
Meanwhile, roast the red pepper in the oven with olive oil to coat and thyme and garlic to taste. Peel and dice the red pepper and keep it in the cooking olive oil.
Dot the sliced octopus symmetrically with the avocado purée, ensuring the quantities are small enough that they don't overpower the flavour of the octopus.
Finally, dress the dish with an equal amount of roasted pine nuts, wood sorrel, red pepper brunoise and Korean red pepper.
Recipe by Arnaud Stevens, chef-patron, Sixtyone
Octopus has quite a robust, earthy flavour and fruity wines usually go well with it. Here, however, there's also a dressing based on sesame oil, and so we need something more savoury.
A refreshing white will lift the dish and contrast nicely with the chillies, so a good bet would be a nutty, minerally Greco di Tufo.
Christine Parkinson is head wine buyer at Hakkasan Group