Admittedly, we were a little squeamish when we first started testing octopus. But after working with the first one, we realized there’s little to fear. Most fishmongers sell the cephalopod with the eyes, ink sac, and innards removed (or will remove them upon request), so all we had to do before cooking it (see Htapothi Krasato Me Maratho) was rinse it in water, cut off the head, remove the beak, and separate the tentacles—yikes!
**1. BODY **Lay out octopus on a large cookie sheet. Cut off head with a knife just above tentacles, halve head lengthwise, and remove ink sac and innards.
**2. BEAK **Turn cluster of tentacles over (inside out) and, squeezing the center, push out beak. Carefully cut out beak and discard.
**3. LEGS **Use sturdy kitchen shears to cut apart and separate tentacles. Rinse pieces under cold running water, then dry with paper towels.