Octopus meat is a seafood that is low in fat and high in zinc and vitamin B6. It may be grilled, simmered or used to make sushi. Before cooking the octopus, however, it is important to cut it up, which involves cleaning it. While octopus is sometimes sold clean, it is important to be aware of how to clean it and cut it up yourself in the case of getting a whole octopus.

Things You'll Need

Place the octopus in a large bowl.

Cover the octopus with milk. The milk contains a chemical that softens the octopus and makes it easier to cut.

Allow the octopus to soak for two to three hours before removing it.

Locate the octopus’s eyes, which are on the head, close to the tentacles.

Cut the octopus’s head off directly below the eyes, separating the head from the tentacles. Use a sharp knife for this task to make a cleaner cut.

Cut away the octopus’s eyes.

Make a slit from the bottom of the octopus’s head up to the very top.

Open the head of the octopus, revealing the dark brown innards.

Remove the innards from the octopus’s head, leaving behind a clean piece of meat.

Rinse the head in water.

Cut the octopus’s head into strips.

Pick up the tentacles and locate the hard beak in the center of the tentacles.

Push the beak out of the octopus’s body.

Cut the tentacles apart. If the octopus is small, you may cook the tentacles without cutting them apart.


  • Remove the skin from the octopus’s head by peeling it away with your fingers. The skin is entirely edible, but can contribute to a chewy texture.