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My Secret Recipe: Korean Octopus Dinner Show

by pleasurepalate (writer), Duarte, June 09, 2007

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Octopus has never been a must try for me and in fact, it's usually a must avoid food for me. The thought of eating tentacles was never that appetizing. So I surprised even myself when I agreed to dinner with friends at My Secret Recipe, a Korean restaurant known for its primarily octopus dishes.

Upon our arrival, I was thankful that the friend who offered to take us on this culinary journey, was actually Korean. A Korean only menu and a wait staff who spoke very limited English may have proven very difficult for the rest of our group to handle, but with her there, it was smooth sailing.

We didn't have a clue as to what she ordered, but soon after, a large pan came out filled with cabbage, green onions, bean sprouts, more veggies and peeking through all that, we could see the bright red of the chili marinated baby octopus. Two other plates also came out with one containing noodles and chili and the other with pork belly meat. Our waitress simply dumped both noodles and pork into the pan and let the whole thing start to cook over the burner that was in the middle of our table.

After awhile, our waitress returned with tongs and a scissor and before our astonished eyes, she pulled up one of the baby octopuses from its head and while its tentacles were dangling in the air, proceeded to cut it into pieces with her scissor back into the pan. Then she did the same with the second one. We had thought the octopus was already cut up, so seeing it whole was a definite surprise and actually was the cause for the giggles. After the unexpected show, she started stirring everything in the pot until the food took on a bright red color.

A few minutes later, we were finally able to dig in. Although we had ordered medium hot, the octopus and veggie casserole definitely still had a punch. I'm glad we stuck with medium, because I think hot would have been way too much to handle.

Finally, I took my first bite of the octopus. It was a little chewy and the texture of the tentacles was strange at first, but after awhile, I started to like it and of course, the fact that it was cooked in a zing in your mouth chili sauce, made it even better.

We were all getting quite filled up with the octopus and veggies and soon reached a stopping point. Once that happened, my friend called out to our waitress and then she came out with rice, chopped daikon and finely chopped seaweed and proceeded to make fried rice with those ingredients as well as with what was left in the pan. I thought I was full, but spicy fried rice is hard to resist, so I had a small plateful and it was yummy.

That was definitely quite a meal and almost like a "dinner theater" where the play is actually the cooking of the meal in front of you and than of course, we get to dine on it when it's done. I quite enjoyed my dinner and would definitely go back again. I don't consider octopus one of my new favorite foods or anything like that, but trying it for the first time at My Secret Recipe was definitely a tasty way for a first time experience.

My Secret Recipe
4177 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90189
(213) 380-8382


About the Writer

pleasurepalate is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on My Secret Recipe: Korean Octopus Dinner Show

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By pleasurepalate on June 09, 2007 at 05:40 pm
Well, if you're ever in LA, you definitely have to check out My Secret Recipe. You can see all the pics below: http://www.flickr.com/photos/la_addict/sets/72157600312250634/
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Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Steven Lane on June 09, 2007 at 10:54 pm
yum!
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