Deliciously Tender and Simply Marinated Fresh Octopus


Well, me and Paulie use our local fishmonger and he has his own fleet of boats so you never know what to expect. We bought our usual staples like halibat, line caught bass, gunard etc. and at the top of the fish couter are 2 slimy things, our fishmonger points out they are octopus and will do us a deal if we take them off his hands. We agree as we love octopus in tapas restaurants and I remember seeing a recipe in one of Rick Steins Books. Our fishmonger is so good that he gave Paulie a one to one lesson on how to skin, remove the beak and prepare the Octopus ready for cooking. So we decided to have our own mini tapas Night with octopus and a couple of other dishes. It tasted Sublime P prepared two ways of tenderising, cooking and marinating the octopus as we were stuck on 2 recipes. The one below is the clear winner and I promise you wont be disappointed it is sooooo tender and so much better than the ones you can buy in supermarkets on the continent.


  • 2 small/ 1 large fresh octopus
  • sea salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced


Bring a Large Saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons salt.  Lower both octopus to the boiling water. Partially cover the pot and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the octopus are tender when pierced with a knife, about one hour. If you aren’t sure, cut off a small piece from a tentacle and taste it. It should offer a little resistance to the tooth, but it shouldn’t be chewy. When the octopus are done, cover the pot, remove from the heat, and let them cool completely in the water.

Put the sliced octopus in a bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Stir well. Let marinate at room temperature for one hour, then taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve. If you like, you can marinate the octopus up to 2 days before serving. Keep it refrigerated, but remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to take the chill off.

Octopus Tapas


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