Portuguese Octopus Salad

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This is a BOLD octopus salad with a ton of flavor and a spicy touch. Portugal is known for its fresh seafood and this recipe is proof of that.

Spicy Octopus with Vinaigrette

I love octopus. Here in the Iberian peninsula, it is a common ingredient and the star of many local dishes.

This time I decided to go for an acid vinaigrette that goes perfectly with any type of seafood.

The appealing of this dish is that it gets even tastier if you store it in your fridge for a week. The longer the octopus remains into the vinaigrette, the more flavor it will have.

This dish is my favorite meal to eat on a beach day. I take some toothpick with me to make it easier to eat the octopus pieces. It is a refreshing appetizer and it holds really well outside the fridge. It is super resistant for a full day traveling.

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How to cook the octopus

Cooking octopus is really easy. You don’t need to add anything to the water that you will use to boil the octopus. The flavor of the octopus is good enough even without salt.

You only need to “scare the octopus” to prevent the skin from falling off. This technique consists into submerging the octopus into the boiling water and after a couple second, remove it. You have to do this at least three times until the tip of the tentacles are rolled up. The octopus must look like it is scared of the water.

After that, the octopus will cook in the water for different periods according to their weight. An octopus between 1,5 kg and 2,5 will take 45 – 60 minutes to cook over high heat. To know if the octopus is ready, you can use a fork and pinch one of the tentacles close to the base of the octopus. You must be capable to pierce the tentacle.

The cooked pieces should be cut into 1-inch “cubes” with the help of a cooking scissor.  Please be careful with the scissor. For a second my brain thought that my middle finger was an octopus tentacle and the result was a bloody mess. Nothing serious but quite uncomfortable when you are working with lime juice, auch!

How to assemble the octopus salad

The rest of the salad is cherry tomatoes, sliced onion and chopped cilantro. Few ingredients that compliment the octopus and not overshadow each other flavors.

Now we are almost ready. The last step is to make a yummy vinaigrette with olive oil, vinegar and lime juice base. You can always alter the recipe to make it fit your taste.

This is an easy octopus recipe in case that you are a newbie in the art of “cooking octopus”.

Other Portuguese Recipes:

5 from 2 votes
Spicy Octopus with Vinaigrette
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Portuguese
Servings: 8 people
  • 2 Kg octopus
  • 10 cherry tomatoes cut
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lime juice
  • 1 tsp fresh chili thinly chopped
  • salt
  1. In a big stock pot with boiling water halfway, “scare” the octopus and then let it cook for 45 minutes.
  2. Prepare the vinaigrette adding the lime juice, the olive oil, and the white wine vinegar.
  3. After the octopus is done and cool cut it and add it to the vinaigrette along with the onion, the tomatoes, the chili, the coriander and a dash of white pepper and salt. Mix everything well and serve.
Waiting that mommy ends the photo shoot to FEED ME



1 thought on “Portuguese Octopus Salad”

  1. Is it possible to safely prepare a batch of the vinaigrette recipe for octopus and store without the octopus added? How long will it keep in the freeze?


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