pulpo a la gallega

it’s friday! and making tapas certainly counts for a fiesta.

this is our first time cooking octopus. it definitely looks daunting since we’ve never handled such whole creatures before. but after having spanish tapas recently, we were inspired by the simplicity of the technique and flavors. so we ventured to our nearest wet market and grabbed the smallest octopus we could find. after a few more tries, we may be ready to tackle the 10 pounders.

octopus 1 lb
potato 1 medium
paprika 1 tsp
salt 1 tsp
olive oil 2 tbsp
lemon juice 1 tbsp

  • in a pot of salted boiling water, toss in the whole octopus and boil until soft on medium heat. for our 1 lb octopus, it took about 45 min (soft = you can insert a knife into the meat like butter)
  • strain and rinse under cold water
  • remove the head and cut the octopus into bite size pieces
  • place the octopus pieces in a bowl, add salt, paprika,  and olive oil. mix evenly and set aside
  • thinly slice the potato
  • bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the potato on medium heat until tender
  • strain the water and place a layer of potatoes on a plate
  • top them with the octopus pieces
  • drizzle with lemon juice, top with more salt if necessary
little octopus bought fresh from the wet market

little octopus bought fresh from the wet market

cooked until tender

cooked until tender

drizzle with olive oil, dust with paprika, and sprinkle with salt

drizzle with olive oil, dust with paprika, and sprinkle with salt


28 responses to “pulpo a la gallega

  1. Wow! I am so impressed that you cooked a whole octopus! I am shivering just looking at the pics…I don’t know if I could do that! 🙂

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  3. Gosh, he does look a little sorry for himself in your lovely shiny bowl.
    But your end product looks great – it’s lovely to see something so different! What will you bring next week??!!
    Emma x

  4. Wow,cooking a whole octopus that’s brave! They creep me out to look at! I’ve never tried eating one, but I love squid which I don’t imagine it much different?
    The finished product looks yummy though, what a great unique dish to bring to FF! xx

  5. I’ve liked octopus when I’ve had it, but not sure I could brave cooking a whole one. However the finished dish does look tasty! Happy Fiesta Friday!

      • yes we have cooked live eels before. they are quite common to find at the wet markets here in hk. they are oily and have similar taste and texture to catfish.

      • Oh, I’ve had eels before. Taste ok. The reason I asked was because once, thinking I would make hubby happy since he likes seafood and unagi, I bought a live eel from Chinatown. They butchered (this is probably the wrong term for a fishmonger) it for me and everything and I came home with it chopped up. I unpacked the package and the thing scared the bejesus out of me. I literally threw it down. It was still moving! Did I tell you it was already cut-up? Never again! I ended up giving up on it. 🙂

      • hahaha! that’s too hilarious! yeah they can be quite scary and slimy, like a huge worm, yuck! it’s amazing how some animals still twitch after being chopped up. better stick to the packaged ones then. at least you know they are long dead.

  6. This is a dish my son really likes – he loves tapas, sushi and pretty much all seafood and has done since he was tiny though I think it was the novelty of eating things like cuttlefish and crab! I remember making an octopus stew in the slow cooker many years ago – it was delicious. Thanks for sharing this very brave dish with us this week! Happy Fiesta Friday to you both…

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