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How to cook octopus

How to cook octopus


  • Easy
  • 40 minutes
  • For 6 people
  • 3.8 € / person
  • 90kcal per 100g.

Cook Galician octopus like a professional

What do you think of today’s recipe? All the tips and tricks so that you have any octopus recipe like in Galicia.

I have asked for advice from the greatest, my mother Rosa and from a friend of the networks and expert pulper  José Mariño Regueira , two great cooks.

My mother was the one who taught me and José works so that the best dishes with quality octopus are taken from the Bar Nuevo de Pobra do Caramiñal, including his famous pulpeiro sandwich .

All the expert advice so that you do not say that later the octopus does not come out at home. You no longer have a possible excuse.

Octopus is perhaps one of the most representative dishes of our gastronomy.

Anyone visiting Galicia should ask for a good portion in the many taverns, restaurants or in one of the pulpeiras stands strategically distributed throughout Galicia.

The pulpeiras or pulpeiros raise the octopus inside the copper cauldron and a good pair of scissors cut without importing its temperature. I assure you that it is home I have come to burn, there is no practice.

Octopus jim

The most important thing when preparing octopus is to get the perfect consistency, get the point.

That it is not very soft or very hard, just a little hard so that you do not have difficulties when it comes to driving your tooth.

That is why for this dish that I am sure you are going to cook at home I recommend that you buy it frozen, so we avoid having to break it and this way it will not come out hard as a stone.

I hope you like this post, which we have written with love so that the octopus comes out like a real pulpeiro … be careful José, they take your job.

All tips and tricks for cooking octopus

  • It is very important to soften the octopus before cooking it, I have seen how they did it by hitting it against the stone on the Island of Ons, but luckily if we freeze it the result is practically the same, it helps the meat to be more tender. So all we have to do is freeze it if we have bought it fresh or buy it directly frozen.
  • We take the octopus out a day before the freezer and put it in the fridge to defrost. It is important to do it in a saucepan or a large bowl because it will release a lot of liquid and it can overflow. At the time of cooking we pass it a little through cold water to remove possible impurities.

  • We put a casserole (the largest we have) on the fire with water, we do not add salt because the octopus is salted at the end, in the presentation. When it starts to boil we add the octopus, we take it by the head and “we scare it” , this technique consists of putting the octopus in and out 3 times from the pot to get the octopus to remain stiff and the skin does not fall off during the cooking.
  • We cook the octopus for about 25-30 over medium heat depending on the size (the normal thing is to cook an octopus of 1.8 kg – 2 kg, with 25-30 is enough), in this case, it was an octopus of 3 kilos, with what we had to cook it since it started to boil about 40 minutes. You have to click it from time to time to see how hard it is. The first time you cook it, it will cost you to take the point but then it will come out pearl-free.

  • When we finish cooking the octopus we let it rest for a few minutes and then we take it out to a source. In the same water we pour the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. If you do not want them to take the pink color you can make them in another casserole, that depends on each one, I like them with the octopus flavor.
  • We cut the octopus with kitchen scissors, the legs into pieces 1 cm thick and the head into small pieces.
  • We serve it on a wooden plate with a potato base. We salt with coarse salt, sprinkle with the paprika (spicy or sweet) and drizzle with a little oil. I also like to season it with a little cooking water.

From the New Bar, José Mariño Regueira advises us

Without considering them absolute truths, I can give you some tips to cook the octopus at home, some contradict or rather do not coincide with the “popular wisdom” or topics that are often cited.

  • Octopus quality first, remembering that it is a seasonal product and winter octopus is better. For this it is essential to look for a trustworthy fishmonger and to be advised.
  • The ideal size for home is a 2 kg octopus. It seems small, but it will be easier to cook.
  • The ideal day would be to defrost, clean the octopus very well, taking out the mouth, eyes and emptying the head.
  • One of the problems we have to cook a single octopus at home is the loss of flavor when cooking in fresh water, so it is advisable to put a little salt in the cooking water. The quantity and quality of water (soft water or, failing that, mineral water) is key, on the one hand the octopus must be completely covered by it, and on the other hand if we use others we have a loss of flavor.
  • The octopus of the feiras is very good for that. They cook a large amount in the same water that is being made and adding flavor to the following octopuses.
  • When we put the octopus in the pot, the water must be boiling, and we put it with the mouth up. Scare it three times is a tradition, (and it is good to keep them) does not really influence whether the skin is more beautiful or not. No harm done, hehe. It also allows the boil to recover earlier, and this is interesting.

  • Approx. For two kg 20 min. We cook without a lid and, if necessary, we can add more water to compensate for evaporation, turn off the heat and prick the octopus with a toothpick to check the point, we will notice that it offers resistance, but after 5 min. it should be, we are clicking (without going over) and checking, it must offer a resistance as an example similar to a cooked potato.
  • Scare it three times is a tradition (and it is good to keep them), but it does not really influence whether the skin is more beautiful or not. It doesn’t hurt, hehe, it also allows the boil to recover earlier and this is interesting.
  • The approximate time for 2 kg is 25 minutes. To check the point we prick with a toothpick on a thick part, which should offer a resistance similar to a cooked potato.
  • We allow to warm, and if we need to reheat in pulpeira water but never boil again. With Pulpeira water, in addition to cooking some delicious potatoes, you can prepare a fantastic rice, it can also be used to cook pasta and give it a touch.
  • Use good extra virgin olive oil and sweet paprika from La Vera, which with that smoky touch goes perfectly and since it is not very “spicy” you can add a little more, for those who like it more spicy.
  • If you want to taste this delicacy in its restaurant, you just have to stop by the Nuevo bar in rúa Díaz de Rábago, 8 in  Pobra do Caramiñal in A Coruña. His phone number is 981 83 00 55 and I recommend you call before going, in the summer it is absolutely full. Say that you are on the side of Rechupete and it will surely add a little more to you … Highly recommended is the San Simón da Costa octopus and cheese sandwich.
  • The octopus served in a sandwich is offered in a hundred ways: only, with San Simón cheese, with or without onion (raw or toasted), sometimes Mugardesa (with a pepper and onion stew), with raw tomato … for all pleasures.

May Galicia and the mother who gave birth to her take advantage! You can already prepare a lot of recipes with octopus, from the classic Galician octopus , an original  baked octopus , as they do in Mugardos, to Mugardesa (in the form of a stew), to Sochantre , candied (one of the recipes Picasso’s favorites), in tempura, accompanying a rice or risotto … or as in this case, grilled.

Use the heads to make croquettes , lots of ideas to enjoy that delicacy.

I encourage you to visit more recipes for tapas, snacks and pinchos  perfect for an unforgettable evening with yours.

The recipes seafood  are great for a holiday or just because.

You can see all the step by step photos of how to cook octopus in this album.

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