Galician Style Octopus – Pulpo a la Gallega


I already wrote in THIS previous post how much I like octopus 🙂

And this is a very simple recipe (octopus doesn’t need many things), typical of Galicia but famous through all Spain but not only 🙂

In its place of origin is called “Polbo à feira“, that in the local language means “fair-style octopus”, because it’s very common to prepare it on Sunday or during the feasts, but it’s very common to find it served as a tapas too.

Let’s see the recipe.


INGREDIENTS (2-3 people):

  • 1 kg octopus
  • 500-600 g potatoes
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • paprika powder
  • salt
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)


  1. First of all the octopus: if you buy it fresh I suggest you to freeze it some days, so it will be more tender. Otherwise you have to hit it before cooking it. And clean it, remove also the beak and the eyes (and obviously the interiors inside the head), then wash it well under running cold water.
  2. Take a pot and heat about 2 liters of water (and if you would like also a bay leaf). When the water is boiling, hold the octopus from the head and put the tentacles in the boiling water for few seconds, then take it out. Wait then that the water starts to boil again (some seconds, set the heat high) and then repeat the same operation, all together 3-4 times, until the tentacles are nicely curled. Then leave the octopus to boil (slowly, not too strong, so set the heat a bit lower), covered, for about 20-25 minutes (for 1 kg octopus, larger ones will take a bit longer depending on the size). After this time take a wooden stick and control if the octopus is cooked: the stick has to enter easily in the meat, it has to be cooked but not too soft, according to the Galician taste. Then switch off the heat and leave the octopus to rest in its water for other 20 minutes.polpo_gallega_6
  3. Meanwhile (well, a bit earlier) take another pot and boil the potatoes. I also used some of the octopus water (traditionally the potatoes are being boiled in the same water of the octopus, but for me it was more comfortable to do it in another pot).
  4. After the octopus has rested in its water take it out, drain it, let it cool down a bit and then cut it into pieces.polpo_gallega_5
  5. Take a large dish (traditionally it’s used a wooden plate), place on the bottom the potatoes cut into slices, then add the octopus and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and sprinkle some paprika powder.
  6. That’s all 🙂 serve it and enjoy it! in Galicia they use to drink young local red wines next to it, instead I chose a white wine 🙂 both options are good!





4 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks light and delicious. I love octopus too. Never prepared it at home though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I adore octopus and especially paired with potatoes, although I haven’t yet tried it this way with paprika. It does sounds lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I also love the match with potatoes 🙂 not to talk about grilled octopus, delicious 🙂


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