Tempura Hot Dog Octopus Recipe

Halloween Tempura Hot Dog Octopus Recipe

Adorably creepy, these octopus bites will fly--or swim--off the party table, with or without a plunge in the Asian-style sauce.
Course Snack
Cuisine Halloween, Kid Food
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author The Food Network


Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 small red chile (optional) sliced and seeded

Tempura Hot Dog Octopus

  • 24 beef franks cocktail size
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup seltzer water
  • 1 large egg
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes


  1. Stir together the lemon juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic and water in a small bowl. (Use the chile if you want the sauce to have some kick) Set aside.

  2. Slice one cocktail frank almost all the way in half lengthwise, leaving the top quarter of the frank intact. Rotate 90 degrees and slice again so you have 4 strips attached to the unsliced top of the frank. Using a sharp paring knife, cut each of the 4 strips in half so you have 8 "tentacles."

  3. Spread the tentacles and place upright on a microwave-safe plate. Repeat with the remaining cocktail franks, using 2 plates to lay out all the octopi.
  4. Microwave one plate at a time for about 30 seconds, or until the cocktail franks sizzle and the tentacles curl slightly. Let cool. The franks will keep the shape that they were microwaved in.
  5. Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 360 degrees F in a heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven.
  6. Place the cornstarch in a shallow bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together the flour, seltzer, egg and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth. Add the ice cubes to keep the batter cold.
  7. Working in batches, dredge the octopi in the cornstarch, tapping off the excess, and then drag through the batter. Let the excess batter drip off so the tentacles stay defined.
  8. Carefully add to the hot oil, holding each octopus by one of the tentacles for the easiest dipping. Fry, turning, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
  9. Serve with the dipping sauce and sliced cucumbers

Recipe Notes

*Note* I decided to make mine full sized and used regular sized hot dogs instead of cocktail franks. To make yours smaller like the photo above, you can buy cocktail sized franks or just cut the hot dogs in half first, then create the legs. I also “cheated” and took a short cut by buying Tempura Batter in a box from the grocery store. Just add water and you’re ready to roll.