Go Back
+ servings
Spanish Tapa-style Octopus Salad
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Spanish Tapa-style Octopus Salad

Cooking note: the secret to a well cooked octopus lies in the cooking time itself. It either has to be flash fried for literally a minute or two, or poached for around an hour in order to achieve a soft, non-rubbery texture. While flash frying is great for baby octopus, poaching medium to large octopus is a much better choice. Serve with toasted bread of your choice. White anchovies are available from many delis and grocers - they are marinated in oil and vinegar much like rollmops.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 2 -4


For the marinated octopus:

  • 300 g medium raw octopus cleaned
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

To serve as Octopus Salad:

  • marinated octopus prepared as above
  • 1 medium cooked potato chilled and diced
  • 1 head baby cos lettuce shredded
  • 1 dill pickle diced
  • 1/8 cup olives of choice
  • 1 tsp capers in brine
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped salted and white anchovies optional, see note
  • 1 tbsp of the leftover oil
  • toasted bread of your choice
  • lemon wedges


To make the octopus:

  • Cut the octopus into quarters, removing the head and beak (hard, shell-like bit from the middle near the head).
  • Bring a saucepan of water and a tablespoon of vinegar to a boil and drop in the tentacles and head. Bring to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer and cook for 1-1.5 hours or until the tentacles are soft when pierced but not mushy. Drain and cool in an ice bath.
  • Peel off any of the slimy membranes – be careful not to remove too many of the suckers during this process, they look great and add texture to the dish.
  • Chop up roughly. Mix oil and lemon juice in a bowl and add octopus. Mix well and season with black pepper. Refrigerate until needed (up to 2 days).

To serve:

  • In a large bowl, mix together the octopus, diced potato, lettuce,diced pickle, olives, capers and anchovies, if using. Drizzle with oil. Transfer onto serving dish.
  • Serve with lightly toasted bread and lemon wedges.


dairy-free egg-free nut-free options: paleo gluten-free
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholesomecook or tag #wholesomecook