Tower of Galician Octopus (Pulpo a Feira)

Though it originated in Galicia, pulpo a feira, as it is known in Galician, or pulpo a la gallega, as it is called in Spanish, is very popular throughout Spain and, may I say, the world; because anywhere you go you can find a Spanish restaurant where you will enjoy the most representative dishes of the Spanish cuisine, well, this is one of those dishes. It has the quality of been easy to cook and delicious, so please try it at home.

I must say that the easiest way is to buy the octopus already cooked, but if you want to start from scratch, first clean the octopus and freeze it for 24 hours at least, and then defreeze it.  Bring to boil a pot with salted water and with the help of a fork dip the octopus into the boiling water. Leave it for 1 minute and take it out, leave it out for 1 minute and repeat, one minute in and one minute out three or four times more, or until the tentacles have curled. (Dipping the octopus into boiling water helps to tenderize it.) Then submerge the octopus in the water and let it boil over medium heat for about 45 minutes, or until it is tender when pierced with a knife.

In the same water from cooking the octopus, cook the potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise in 1/2-inch-thick slices, until tender. Reserve.

Today recipe is the traditional one, but with a twist, I like it this way because is different and add an air of nouvel cuisine to it, but you can serve it the conventional way, which is on a wooden plate or platter, first the potatoes, then the octopus and on the top salt, hot and/or sweet paprika and a splash of olive oil.

¡Bo proveito!


1 octopus, about 3 pounds
1 pound potatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Hot and sweet paprika
Coarse sea salt


As I already told you the way of cooking the octopus and potatoes, only need to explain the mounting. You will need round molds, about 20 cm. in diameter.

Cut the octopus, the tentacles into 1/2-inch-thick rings and the body into small chunks, now put the mold on the plate, add a layer of potatoes, then the octopus and season with salt, paprika and a drizzle of olive oil and repeat until you get to the top, the last layer must be octopus, you’ll have to push a little with a spoon to make it more compact, unmold just before serving.

Usually, the Pulpo a la gallega is served at room temperature or warm, but I think it could work cold aswell, if you serve it as a starter during the summer. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to leave your comments, share with your friends and cook!

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