Grilled Octopus Salad

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September 20, 2015

This step-by-step recipe and video will show you how to make a restaurant quality grilled octopus salad at home.

  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr 45 mins
  • Yields: 4 servings


Grilled Octopus

1 fresh octopus

1 large pot of water

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lime

1 1/2 tsps. salt

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

½ cup white wine

1 wine cork

Citrus Vinaigrette

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lime

zest of 1 orange

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

½ tsp. salt

pinch red pepper flakes

Fennel Salad

1 fennel bulb

2 tablespoons fennel fronds


Steam Octopus

1Heat a pot of water on a stove over medium-high heat. Holding the head of the octopus, dip the tentacles in the water for 10 seconds. Lift it back out. Repeat three times. This will cause the tentacles to curl. Drop the entire octopus in the water.

2Add the juices, salt, pepper, wine and wine cork. Cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. The tentacles should be tender when pierced with a knife.

Make Salad

1While the octopus is cooking, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a large bowl. Toss 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette in a separate bowl with the sliced fennel.

Grill Octopus

1When the octopus is tender, remove it to a cutting board. Cut off the tentacles and discard the head. Place the tentacles in the vinaigrette. Soak for 30 minutes to overnight.

2Heat the grill to high. Place the tentacles on the grill and cook, until charred on all sides.


1Add a mound of fennel to a plate. Top with 2-3 pieces of octopus. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with fennel fronds for garnish.

A lot of restaurant chefs are featuring grilled octopus salad nowadays. The octopus is meaty and tender and develops a nice crispy char when it’s cooked on the grill. It’s not fishy at all. It’s a very subtle meat, kind of like squid, and it will take on the flavors mixed with it.

Before grilling octopus though, it’s important to steam it.

When shopping for octopus, you might be lucky enough to find it already steamed. If that’s the case, you can skip that step in the above recipe and go straight to the marinade and the grill.

If you’re looking for a little more adventure, check your local Asian market for whole fresh octopus and follow the full recipe.

When steaming the octopus, add a wine cork to the water. This, for some magical reason, helps make it nice and tender. Boil it for about an hour and a half and toss it in marinade. It’s most often served over a fennel salad, but you can eat it by itself or with any other greens.

Watch the above video for step-by-step instructions.


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I love to cook outdoors. Give me a smoker, a grill or even a campfire, and I'll serve you up a meal you won't forget.
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