Seafood feast – One Octopus, Three ways

As you know I have a weakness for octopus. It is my favourite seafood, on par with prawns and dare I say, I love it more than lobsters! There, I said it.

Ii was lucky enough, last weekend, to land a beautiful large specimen from Mrs Fish, my local fishmonger. Tony ( Mr Fish ) had trimmed and cleaned it all for me so that all I had to do was give it a quick rinse, and put it in the pot. I managed to make 3 different dishes out of it, not wanting to let any of it go to waste, and served them at a family  lunch. The guests liked it and some asked for the recipes. These could not be easier!

Basic Boiled Octopus



1 large octopus, approx 2 kg

bay leaves, to taste ( I use a lot )

1 onion, peeled ( optional )

2 tbsp red wine vinegar ( optional )


  1. In a large cast iron or heavy pot, place the cleaned and rinsed octopus in one piece
  2. Add the bay leaves , onion and red wine vinegar, if using
  3. Cover with water and bring to the boil on high heat. The octopus will begin to curl and turn pink.
  4. Lower the heat, cover the pot with a lid and let the octopus simmer for 30 minutes or until tender.
  5. Allow the octopus to cool, then drain. Keep the cooking liquid for another use ( see below )
  6. Your octopus is ready to eat as is, or use for the following recipes.

Mr Octopus going in the pot in one piece.

Galician Octopus


Serves 12, as a snack


1 kg cooked octopus ( see basic recipe above )

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Cut the octopus into bite sized pieces using scissors or kitchen shears.
  2. Combine the octopus pieces, olive oil, smoked paprika and parsley in a bowl.
  3. Season well with sea salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Just before serving, drizzle some extra olive oil. Serve with toothpicks.

Grilled Octopus



1 kg cooked octopus ( see basic recipe above )

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp garlic, crushed

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat a grill or bbq plate. Rub the octopus with olive oil and place on an oven tray or hot plate if using the bbq ( no need to cut it into pieces at that stage )
  2. Grill or bbq on high for 10-15 minutes until the octopus is slightly charred on the outside
  3. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Cut into bite sized pieces, using scissors or kitchen shears.
  4. Combine octopus pieces with crushed garlic in a bowl.
  5. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve with lemon wedges.

Rice in octopus stock

This is NOT a paella dish, nor a risotto. It is my version of boiled rice flavoured with octopus juice,  that I didn’t want to waste.



Reserved cooking stock from Basic Boiled Octopus, including the bay leaves ( you should have at least 4 cups )

2 cups medium grain rice ( or any rice good for paella, not long grain rice)

Cooked chorizo slices, for garnish

  1. Bring the octopus stock to the boil
  2. Add the rice and stir well to combine. Bring back to the boil, then turn the heat right down to a simmer and cover with a lid, as you would for ordinary rice.
  3. Cook the rice for 20 minutes or until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  4. In the meantime, fry chorizo slices in a frypan until just cooked. When ready, transfer the chorizo to the pot along with any juices from the frypan. Cover with the lid for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to mix a little.
  5. Serve warm.

One whole octopus put to good use ! Nothing wasted.

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