Octopus, eels, and sticky rice, oh my!

By Arielle Weg
August 03, 2018
Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Something must be in the air, because we’ve been all about solving common issues and ailments with food this week at MyRecipes. We learned chugging a sports drink is not how one should attempt to recover from the stomach flu, and if you are having other tummy troubles we looked into the foods that may be giving you gas and how to deal. We also found some surprisingly sneaky hacks to curing bad breath with parsley, eating our way to radiant skin, and stopping hiccups in their tracks with just a spoonful of sugar. And if all this science (and semi-science) is giving you a headache—don’t worry. We also know what foods you might want to avoid (because they can cause headaches) as well as what foods can help treat your aching noggin.

In other events this week, my roommate complimented my dedication to actually sitting down and eating breakfast every day before leaving for work. (She must not notice the mornings I hit snooze one too many times and end up shoveling scrambled eggs into my mouth directly from the pan.) The thing is, my having time for a relaxing, energizing breakfast most days is 100% because of delicious make-ahead breakfast recipes. Seriously. I could go on for days about how Chocolate-Tahini Banana Bread changed my life, or how Bulgur and Greens Mini Quiches keep me full longer than any pan full of eggs I made half asleep at 8 A.M. Plus, I even have coffee ready to go with my simple, make-ahead trick for the easiest iced coffee ever. You can thank me Monday morning.

But enough about my breakfast, let’s talk about all of the things we learned to cook this week (and want to practice this weekend). Our guide to everything you need to know about cooking octopus is your ticket to making impressive, restaurant-quality octopus dishes in your own home. It covers the essentials of buying, prepping, and cooking tender, picture-perfect octopus. (But really, the pictures are stunning.) Take a peek at the Braised Octopus in Tomato Sauce with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes or the Grilled Octopus with Korean Barbecue Sauce and Baby Bok Choy Slaw. If octopus isn’t quite your thing, how about giving eel a go? OK, maybe you’ll have to work your way up to cooking an actual eel, but eel sauce is a highly approachable and delicious way to add pizzazz to your regular weeknight meals. You’ve loved the savory-sweet sauce when it comes drizzled over your favorite sushi roll, so why not make this 3-ingredient condiment a new dinnertime staple? I promise you’ll love it just as well on chicken, noodles, pork, and more.

Finally, if this is the week you just really feel like expanding your cooking horizons even further, flip through the pages of the kosher cookbook you need even if you’re not Jewish. The recipes are a delight. For example, the blogger behind Busy in Brooklyn transforms gefilte fish into something worth looking forward to via a pizza topped with horseradish cream, beets, arugula, carrots, and quick pickled onions. Of course, the MyRecipes staff has a real appreciation for looking back at our most basic staple foods and jazzing them up. Just this week, writer Briana Riddock shared yet another trick to making a basic pot of white rice into something special. The key to this iteration of seriously delicious rice is taking a whole tomato and plopping it right into the pot of simmering rice for an astoundingly easy pan of fluffy tomato rice. It’s brilliant. And while we’re on a rice kick, hand me a bowl of that mango sticky rice with coconut-lime sauce. Time to dig in and get this weekend started.