Ingredient Name: Dried Octopus

Traditional Chinese Name: 章魚幹 (Zhāng yú gàn)

What is this?
  • This is basically the dried preserved carcass of a small octopus (an eight-legged mollusc that lives in the ocean)
  • It is prepared by sun drying them with salt
  • It is salty and slightly “fishy” in taste with a rubbery and hard texture
  • Commonly used in soups, stews and other Chinese dishes (usually sliced very thinly)

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage and soak in warm water for about an hour to soften it
  • For soups, you can cut them into thin slices (for consumption) or simply half it

Where can I buy this?

  • Readily available at most Asian supermarkets (packaged)
  • Definitely available in Hong Kong wet marts (sold in the dried food vendor stalls)

What is the cost?

  • Very affordable
  • One average-sized octopus (as picture above) cost me around $30 HKD
  • The prices do vary depending on size, breed and availability

Any benefits?

  • This is a perfect ingredient for soups as it is makes the soup extremely tasty (without adding salt)
  • Octopus is rich in calcium, phosphorous, and iron
  • It aids in the prevention of anemia, relieves fatigue and restores eyesight and improves liver functions

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to purchase from a reputable source
  • Sometimes the octopus is really salty, so if you want to reduce the saltiness, soak in warm water for a few hours
  • Dried octopus is high in cholestorel
  • People who are allergic to shellfish may be allergic to octopus

Additional Information

  • Store in a dry and cool place (up to 3 months)
  • You can freeze them as well for longer storage (up to 6 months)
  • This is a similar ingredient to the dried cuttlefish, both are prepared and used in a similar fashion