Octopus is usually sold cleaned and most often also frozen. Since octopus shrinks greatly when cooked, large-size specimens are most desirable. Octopus must be precooked by simmering in salted water seasoned with a bouquet garni for at least 1 hour (cooking time depends on size and age — it can take up to 3 hours) or until very tender when pierced with the point of a small, sharp knife. Once precooked, octopus can be grilled, sautéed, or stewed.
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