My littlest has a fascination with “octopus”-like sea monsters. She’s afraid of them…yet unendingly curious. (And yes, obviously we tell her they’re not real…especially at bedtime.)
So when we found loads of fun “hot dog octopus” recipes, we knew we had to try them out. They were an instant hit with both our kids and since then, we’ve had this whimsical treat often.
Of course, being Halloween fans, my wife and I “haunted” the recipe up for the holiday, adding murky-looking “seaweed” and sinister rather than friendly faces for the “sea monsters.” We call these Creepy Kraken, after the legendary tentacled monster of the sea that appears out of nowhere to upend ships in sailor lore. This is SUCH an easy recipe, and perfect for a Halloween party. Here’s how:
CREEPY KRAKEN RECIPE
- hot dogs – as many as you’ll need to feed your party
- Maruchan or other brand Ramen noodles, 3 oz. per 3-4 hot dog “sea monsters”
- McCormick Assorted Food Colors (or brand of your choice) – 10 drops of green; 3 drops of red
- 1 cup water
KRAKEN (SEA MONSTERS)
- Cut hot dog in half but only up to within 1-1.5″ of the top of the hot dog, as shown.
- Cut the cut pieces in half so that you have 4 dangling “legs.”
- Cut two of these pieces in half so that you wind up with 8 legs total.
- Boil a pot of water. When a rolling boil is achieved, turn down to medium heat so that you have a simmer to a very low rolling boil.
- Place the hot dogs into the water. Cook until “tentacles” curl up slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside, sitting them upright so their curled tentacles will stay in place.
- Meanwhile, pour water into a small pot.
- Add the food coloring. You should achieve a murky green color. Dip up with a spoon to test the color; you can always add more red for a murkier/browner color, or more green for a more intense color. Add ONLY ONE drop at a time of either color (or other colors of your choice), as color change will happen with very few drops.
- Set on high heat, add the enclosed spice packet and bring water to a boil.
- Add the noodles. Reduce heat so the water won’t boil over. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Drain. Do not rinse.
ARRANGING YOUR KRAKEN
- Put the colored, cooked Ramen onto a plate (or plates, if you are serving more than 3-4 people and making more than 4 or so hot dog sea monsters; we find about 3-4 fit onto a dinner size plate, more on a serving plate).
- Cool the sea monsters slightly in an upright position so their legs stay curled up around them. Now place the sea monsters into the “seaweed” (Ramen). Dot eyes only (no smiling mouth!) onto the hot dogs. Serve.