Octopus Salad

Octopus Salad

Octopus Salad


Friedrich Detering
Designer, Illustrator




1 litre of water (4 cups)
1 octopus tentacle
1 large onion
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
1 parsley branch
Olive oil
Fine salt
Fine black pepper

About this Recipe

Octopus salad, or Salada de polvo in Portuguese, is a traditional Portuguese entrée most common in the summer, since it is served cold. It is best enjoyed together with a cold beer or fresh white wine on a warm summer day.

  • In a pressure cooker, bring about 1L of water to a boil (4 cups), together with a big, peeled onion and a garlic clove.
  • Once the water boils, bring the heat down a little and place the octopus* in the pressure cooker. Let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Take out the octopus, cut it into small bits and set aside to cool down.
  • Cut the small onion and parsley branch into fine pieces.
  • Once cool, place the octopus bits, together with the fine sliced onion and parsley** in a bowl, add some olive oil and vinegar and mix well, using a spoon. Season with fine salt and black pepper to your liking. Serve cold.

*Note: To achieve maximum tenderness, there are 2 tricks you can use: Hammer the octopus with a kitchen hammer before you cook it and dip the octopus in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then pull it out for another 30 seconds, before letting it cook.

**Optional: Instead of just onion and parsley, you can choose to add some finely diced tomato or red and yellow peppers to the salad. It’s common to serve the salad with a quarter lemon. Some people enjoy squeezing it over the salad for more acidity.