Escabeche is an umbrella of a name used to describe a family of dishes spanning many cuisines (Spanish, Portuguese, Filipino, Latin American). What they all have in common, regardless of if the star of the show is meat, fish, or vegetables, is the acidic sauce - often seasoned with paprika, citrus, and a medley of spices - that they’re either cooked or marinated in. Here, we applied the technique to our tinned octopus.
This is a great recipe for celebrating the last peppers of the season with one final hurrah. We tested this recipe with small, sweet heirloom red peppers, and encourage you to seek out any interesting varieties that your local farmer might be growing - though a regular red bell pepper will certainly do the job well.
⅓ cup olive oil
½ large red onion, sliced
½ cup sliced red bell pepper, see headnote
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to season
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 sprigs of thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon chili flakes
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cane sugar
2 tins (3.5 oz each) Ekone octopus, drained and cut into bite size pieces
Tortilla chips to serve
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. When the oil is quite hot but not smoking, add the red onions and a small pinch of salt. Cook, stirring the onions occasionally, for 3-5 minutes, or until they’re just starting to soften and begin to take on the tiniest touch of color. Add the red pepper and toss to coat. Cook for another minute or two, then add the sliced garlic. Season all of the vegetables with ½ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper, and cook for another minute or two - being careful not to let the garlic burn. Add the thyme, oregano, sweet paprika and chili flakes. Take the pan off of the heat, then add the vinegar and sugar. Add the octopus, and give everything a good stir to combine.
Allow the escabeche to marinate for two hours in the fridge. It’s delicious served warm or at room temperature, but please don’t serve it cold. If you’re serving it warm, simply reheat in a saucepan set over medium low heat until fully warmed through.
Serve with tortilla chips.