Octopus Salad

We went to a BBQ last week and the hostess served this delicious Portuguese Octopus Salad. She was fascinated by the fact I was keen to photograph her cooking and share with the world. Enjoy!

Octopus Salad
Octopus Salad

1kg of Octopus
1 Onion (finely chopped)
1 Bunch of flat leaved parsley (finely chopped)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Remove head of octopus and cut tentacles into approximately 1″ pieces.
Wash thoroughly and put octopus in a large pan. Cover completely with water and boil octopus until tender. Drain water and put cooked octopus in serving bowl.

Finely chop the onion and parsley and add to the octopus. Add the oil and white wine vinegar plus salt and pepper to taste. Allow to marinate for about an hour before serving.

Great as an appetizer, starter or lunch!

Do you like Octopus? Yes?… please share your favourite recipe.


40 thoughts on “Octopus Salad

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  1. I use octopus often. Mostly for special occasions. I get it fresh from my fisher buddy. It come from the ocean and is quite large. I freeze it. When needed, I take out a portion and after it has thawed, I break it down by pounding. Then boil in salted water for about 1 hour. After it cools, I grind it. Being that they are so large it is hard to get them real tender. Also, when taking the salad to functions, no one recognizes it. I find that people will try it if they don’t know what it is. Most love it and can’t believe it is what it is. My recipe is very similar: Grind, add chopped green onion, chopped parsley. Olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing, (sweetened to taste with a little sugar, salt, pepper). Let it marinate several hours or over night. The dressing will absorb. Amounts of ingredients is up to preferred taste and amount of octopus. The secret is course grinding. ( I’m of Croatian decent)


  2. Today I bought a whole frozen octopus for less than £3, boiled it in a large lidded pan with an onion, half a lemon, salt and some white wine. I put it on a low heat and went to play the music for the church service, came home and it was really tender. The juice will go in with the dog food and the octopus will be my starter for a dinner party tomorrow. A real delicacy.


  3. I really like octopus! I’ve mostly had it in japanese dishes, but this year I tried two greek octopus dishes, hot and cold. Olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs and fresh lemon juice were other main ingredients for the cold dish. The hot dish seemed to have the same ingredients, but also with sauteed onions and red bell peppers. They were both heavenly . Your recipe sounds yummy. Simple, yet wonderful ingredients. I’ll have to try it.


    1. Hi Fergiemoto and welcome!

      I’ve only recently discovered I like octopus 🙂
      I had it in Cyprus and it was chewy and absolutely disgusting. However, since trying it again in Portugal when it was cooked properly, I’ve quite taken to it.

      Thanks for stopping by hope to see you again!


  4. Husband and I just came back from touring Portugal….think we ordered this almost every meal for appetizer!! So good with good quality olive oil!! One chef told me the trick to know when the octopus is cooked is to put an onion in with it and when that is tender so is the octopus….slow cooking either way. Hubbie came home with frozen octopus couple days ago and will def give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing (:
    ~Tanya (Dallas, Texas)


    1. Hi MWD,
      I did not dare cook it! Luckily my firends husband is Portuguese and he did!
      She said it smelt awful as he boiled it and they had to open all the windows and doors. I think I will skip this one, but it is always nice to sahre 🙂


  5. The dish looks delicious… and your hostess was very generous with sharing her information/dish. Kudos! 🙂
    I’ve had fried octopus and a pesto/sun-dried tomato octopus salad in restaurants but, honestly, it’s not something I’d make … you must admit they are not pretty to behold. 😳
    The recipe above will make it easy for anyone who wishes to explore that delicacy further. 😉


    1. Hi 737,
      It’s not something I would cook personally, but my friends husband is Portuguese so they eat it quite often. She laughed when I said I wanted to photograph it for my blog. I do get quite a bit of traffic on my Portuguese recipes so I do like to post them regulary 🙂


  6. I love octopus when prepared properly–although I’ve never tried making it myself–have you? I’ve heard the trick is to line the bottom of a large pot with whole tomatoes and put the octopus on top and cook them that way.


  7. I’ve never had octopus-I really don’t think I could, as even the thoughts of chocolate covered ants and other exotic animals. I guess its really just the thought of it !!! 🙂


  8. I tried octopus a whole bunch of times whilst on holiday around the Med, but the texture seemed to vary wildly from lovely and tender to downright chewy like leather. I could never work out if that was because of the octopus or the way it was prepared. The salad does look tasty though!


    1. Hi NR,
      Taking the photo was fun…I was very tipsy and had serious problems foucusing the camera, and hand shake and then the giggles. My friend was both fascinated and flattered – I think LOL 🙂


  9. I’ve never had octopus nor have I ever even seen any as food. I’ve heard it’s really good, I hope to try some someday. Great photo & recipe, it looks & sounds like it’s quite tasty. 🙂


      1. If it was that tough you didn’t cook it right. Properly cooked octopus is very tender. The secret is to freeze it first for at least 45 minutes.


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