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Home > Restaurants > Recipes > Pulpo a Feira

Pulpo a Feira

Provided by: Chef Alex Raij

  • Type of Dish: Main Courses
  • Cuisine: Spanish/Portuguese
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A pot of water large enough to accommodate your octopus
Kosher or sea salt as needed
1 onion, cut in half
1 bay leaf (1/2 if it’s strong)
2 black peppercorns
1 large octopus (no less than 4 pounds), defrosted
6 Carola potatoes, peeled (available at Union Square Greenmarket). Substitute: Yukon gold
Sherry vinegar, a splash
2 tablespoons sweet paprika mixed with 1 teaspoon hot paprika
Olive oil
Coarse sea salt (Maldon salt is great for this)


Salt the water aggressively as for pasta.

Bring to a rolling boil with the onion, the bay leaf, and the peppercorns. Once boiling, hold the octopus by the head and dip the legs in the boiling water for a few seconds and remove it. Repeat this 3 times. Release the octopus in the water and cook at a medium boil until tender (this can be as little as 25 minutes or as much as 1 hour). Insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg after 20 minutes—it should have the slightest resistance going in and nearly none coming out. When cooked, remove the octopus to a platter and chill, loosely covered. Reserve 2 quarts cooking liquid.

Once chilled, cut off and separate the legs as close to the head as possible. Discard the head. Slice the legs in ½-inch-thick coins.

While the octopus chills, cook the potatoes until just tender in the reserved cooking liquid. When done, remove to sheet pan, splash with sherry vinegar, and let cool.

To Serve
Slice the potatoes, and arrange on a plate. Arrange the octopus slices on top, and warm briefly. Dust with paprika mixture and drizzle with olive oil. Finish with sea salt. (Published 2008)

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