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a bowl of portuguese octopus salad/

Portuguese Octopus Salad (Salada de Polvo)

A scrumptious Portuguese octopus salad that you will find irresistible!  To make it tender be sure to use the scare technique and throw in a cork for good measure. 
Course Salad
Cuisine portuguese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 202kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine


  • 1 3lb octopus
  • 1 white onion quartered
  • 1 carrot in chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 bunch cilantro stems
  • 1 red bell pepper roasted, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1 lime juice of
  • 1/4 cup olive oil to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


To cook the octopus

  • In a large stock pot fill with 2 liters of water or enough to cover the octopus.
  • Add in the white onion, carrot, garlic, cilantro stems and peppercorns to the pot of water and bring to a boil.
  • Rinse off your octopus and use the scare technique before placing it in the pot of water.  To do this you hold it by the head, and drop the tentacles into the water and swirl them around the pot in a circular motion twice.  Remove it  and you will see all the tentacles shrivel up (like they got scared).  Repeat this process two more times on the third time drop the whole octopus into the pot. Add in a cork for good measure.   Let cook until for tender about 50 minutes depending on the size of your octopus.  
  • Remove the octopus and place on a cutting board, cut into bite size pieces. Place the cut pieces onto a baking tray and add in the rest of the salad ingredients, the red onion, red pepper, sun dried tomatoes and cilantro.  Mix it up with the octopus and squeeze over the juice of one lime. Drizzle about 1/4 of a cup of very good olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.  Mix it all together and serve.


You can certainly use the water that the octopus was cooked in to make a seafood stock, just note that it will be a bit of a pink color but will add wonderful flavor!


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 710mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3870IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1.7mg