Octopus Salad Recipe – Salada de Polvo

Octopus Salad Recipe – Salada de Polvo

Octopus Salad Recipe

The summertime calls for summer salad recipes. One of the popular salads on Madeira is the octopus salad. Summertime is also the perfect occasion to gather a group of friends around the table to share a meal outside and simply have a good time. Here’s the recipe for the octopus salad, which will serve 6-8 people.

Ingredients (6-8 servings):

  • 1 octopus (around 1.5kg) – the octopus should be thawed the day before cooking if frozen
  • 3 onions, medium size (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 2 red tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • ½ tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander
  • Olive oil
  • White wine vinegar
  • Black pepper
  • Salt flakes


To start, use a large pan in which you will bring 3L of water to boil. Dip the octopus in the boiling water for 2-3 seconds and then remove immediately. Repeat this process 5 or 6 times.

Once this is done, you can boil the octopus until tender. This should last for 25-30 minutes. Then, remove and leave standing to cool.

Cut the head and removed the beak. The beak is in between all the legs, on the inside (picture to the left).

Cut the octopus into small-medium pieces and arrange in the plate or bowl of your choice. You may then add the peppers, onions, tomatoes. To finish, season the dish with the olive oil, vinegar, pepper, salt coriander and parsley.


It’s ready to be served!

Tales on how to cook the beast

Octopus flesh is far tougher than the flesh of other cephalopods like squid or cuttlefish so chefs worldwide have come up with different strategies for tenderising the flesh. In the Mediterranean, fishermen beat octopuses against rocks; some swear by cooking it in copper, massaging it with salt or simmering it with wine corks. Some modern chefs have even been known to bag the beast and pop it in a spin cycle in the washing machine! If handled with a little care, such extreme techniques shouldn’t be necessary – gentle simmering should suffice! Source

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