Kirakuya Teri-Ake-Tila: Citrus-Infused Sake with Grilled Teriyaki Baby Octopus

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min (includes infusing time)
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Citrus-Infused Sake:

3 lemons

3 limes

1 bottle sake


1 teaspoon salt

2 scallions, roughly chopped 

1-inch piece ginger, peeled 

3/4 cup sake 

8 baby octopus, cleaned 

1/4 cup light soy sauce 

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil 

Kosher salt, for garnish

8 shiso leaves, for garnish, optional 

1 lemon, for garnish

1 lime, for garnish


Special equipment:
8 sake cups and 8 sake boxes
  1. For the citrus-infused sake: Peel large strips of zest from the lemons and limes and put in a large Mason jar or other container. Pour the sake over it and let it sit for at least 1 hour (and up to 1 week covered).
  2. For the octopus: Bring a large saucepot of water to a boil. Add the salt, scallions, ginger and 1/2 cup of the sake. Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to infuse the water. Quickly blanch the octopus in the simmering water, 10 to 15 seconds. Remove the octopus to a plate to cool. Save the ginger for the garnish.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the light soy sauce, sugar, vegetable oil and remaining 1/4 cup sake. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Heat a grill or grill pan to high. Brush the octopus with the sake-soy marinade. Grill the octopus until just cooked, 2 to 3 minutes on each side; the tentacles will curl and be slightly charred and the octopus will be opaque.
  5. With a lemon zester, zest threads from the reserved ginger. Toss with some of the sake-soy marinade. Heat a small skillet to high heat. Saute the ginger threads for 10 to 15 seconds.
  6. To serve: Place a sake cup in a sake box on one side of each serving plate. Fill each sake cup with some of the citrus-infused sake. Place a small mound of kosher salt on the corner of each sake box. Place a shiso leaf, if using, in the middle of each serving plate. Place a grilled octopus on each shiso leaf. Place some ginger threads on each octopus as a garnish. Use the zester to cut long threads of zest from the lemon and lime. Place some lemon and lime threads on another corner of each serving plate as a garnish and serve.