Octopus Poke With Kimchi Recipe

J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Sweet onions provide flavor without pungency or heat.
  • Thinly slicing boiled octopus tames its rubbery texture.
  • Tossing the salad and letting it rest for just a few minutes before serving maximizes flavor development while retaining texture.

Octopus is tough in more ways than one. Sure, it's literally tough and requires some technique to make it palatable, but it's also tough in that it has no problem standing up to strongly flavored ingredients. Like kimchi. Octopus is great with kimchi.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 12 ounces (340g) boiled octopus, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note)
  • 3 ounces (85g) sweet onion, such as Maui or Vidalia, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 scallion, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces (115g) kimchi, roughly chopped, plus 1 tablespoon (15ml) juice from the jar
  • 4 teaspoons (20ml) soy sauce, more or less to taste
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) toasted sesame oil, more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) honey, more or less to taste
  • Kochukaru (Korean chili flakes), to taste (see note)
  • Kosher salt
  • Steamed rice (if eating as a meal)


  1. Combine octopus, onion, scallion, kimchi and its juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey in a bowl and toss to combine. Season to taste with chili flakes and salt. Let stand 5 minutes at room temperature, then serve on its own or on top of steamed rice.


Boiled octopus can be found in most Japanese markets. If making from scratch, boil a large pot of salted water. Add octopus to the pot and cook until it's just cooked through to the center, about 10 minutes. Shock in ice water and chill thoroughly before slicing. Kochukaru (Korean chili flakes) can be found in any Korean grocery and most other Asian groceries.

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