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Pulpo a la Gallega

Are you feeling adventurous? Then, give this Pulpo a la Gallega recipe a try.

When you think about octopus, you may think of it being chewy and tough. However, if you prepare it properly, the texture is much better; it’s actually somewhat like lobster.  If you follow this Pulpo a la Gallega recipe, you will see what we are talking about.

Pulpo a la Gallega Recipe
Pulpo a la Gallega. The texture is somewhat like lobster.

Octopus, like shrimp, provides tons of protein, without a lot of fat or calories. And it is even more nutritious than shrimp. It is an excellent source of vitamin B12, iron, vitamin B6, iron, copper, phosphorus, and selenium. Well, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it?

Now, this way of cooking octopus is native to Galicia and the north-west part of Spain. It seems quite easy; however, it does require some skill to achieve the perfect texture. Of course, having a good quality, fresh octopus makes a big difference, and as you probably already know, Galicia is one of the best places in the world to find great fish and seafood. 

The most traditional way of cooking octopus is with a copper pot, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. You can cook a very tasty Pulpo a la Gallega using a regular pot by following some simple steps included in this recipe.

Pulpo a la Gallega Recipe

Pulpo a la Gallega Recipe

Pulpo a la Gallega is a delicious way of cooking octopus. Do you want to know how to prepare it sept by step? Just follow this recipe.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Resting time 15 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack, tapa
Cuisine galician, Mediterranean, spanish
Servings 4 people


  • 1 octopus
  • 1/2 kilo potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt


  • If you are using a pre-cooked octopus, the easiest and faster way of preparing it is by heating it up in a microwave. Cover it up with a plate, and turn the microwave power down to somewhere below 300w, otherwise it will get very dry. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes.
  • If you have a fresh octopus, freeze it for at least 24 hours. Defrost it a couple of hours before cooking it. With this little trick you will make the meat soft. Boil water in a big pot. Once it is boiling, place the octopus in it for about a minute and then remove it for another minute. A metallic strainer would be helpful. Repeat this process three or four times. This is known as “asustar” (to scare) the octopus, and it is done this way to in order to cook it in its skin. After doing this, boil the octopus for about 15 minutes per kg of octopus (so if you have a 2kg octopus, ½ hour should be enough)*
  • In the meantime, boil some more water in another pot and cook some potatoes with the skin on, after washing them carefully (making sure that you leave no soil on them).
  • Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes. Pierce a potato with a fork and hold it slightly above the water. If it slides, it means that it is ready. If the potato stays on the fork, it means that it needs a bit more boiling time.
  • Let the octopus rest on a wooden surface if possible for about 15 minutes. Then, cut it with some scissors into two-centimeter pieces. Serve it with boiled potatoes, and some sweet paprika, olive oil and salt on top. It is traditionally served on wooden plates.


* The rule is approximate. It could be more or it could be less. A good way of knowing if the octopus is ready is by poking its head with a fork. If the fork is clean and it releases the head without any effort, it is ready.
Keyword a la gallega, galicia, octopus, Pulpo, pulpo a la gallega
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