Momofuku’s Octo Vinaigrette

Octo Vinaigrette

From Kevin Pemoulie, creator of this vinaigrette and one of the world’s finest condiments and food-improvers, comes this sauce that’s so good it makes anything taste better. The “octo vin” is how she’s formally known. I think of it as an interesting flip-flop of a traditional vinaigrette in that the ratio of vinegar to oil is reversed. It’s designed to hold up to the char of the octopus and to dress the seaweed, which, unlike lettuces, requires a very forceful, pungent sauce. I wish my prom date had worn a pungent dress.

If we used this to dress a salad, it would probably be too strong. However, it is really f**king delish with meats: grilled or fried. We served it once with whole fried sole. We’ve served it with grilled hamachi collar. And, obviously, the fried chickenDavid Chang and Peter Meehan

LC Channeling David Chang Note

Even the most renowned, crazy creative chefs rely not just on chimera but actual cooking techniques when it comes to the execution of their ideas. In his book, chef David Chang reminds us to take your time and work your knife skills when slicing and dicing. “Making small, even pieces of garlic and ginger (not the mush that a garlic press or a ginger grater creates) really make a difference,” he says. “Big bits of raw garlic can have an acrid sting: chunks of ginger will deliver a too-spicy blast can be unpleasantly fibrous.” There you have it.

Momofuku's Octo Vinaigrette Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Makes about 1 cup


  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled ginger (see LC Note above)
  • 1 fresh bird’s eye or Serrano chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup usukuchi (light soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1. To make the octo vinaigrette, combine the garlic, ginger, chile, vinegar, soy, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, sugar, and a few turns of black pepper in a lidded container and shake well to mix. That’s it. (This will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, and is good on everything except ostrich eggs, which is really more the ostrich’s fault than the vinaigrette’s.)
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