Spanish Octopus

Serves 6
Difficulty: Intermediate

  • 4 quarts water

  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

  • 1 frozen octopus, about 3 pounds thawed overnight in refrigerator

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons hot paprika

Prepare in a large stockpot, combine the water and 1 tablespoon of the salt and bring to a boil. While the water is heating, rinse the octopus under cold running water. Using sharp kitchen scissors, cut out the mouth and the eyes.
With a long fork, pierce the octopus to get a firm grip and dip it into the boiling water. Lift out immediately and, when the water returns to a boil, dip it briefly again. Repeat this dipping procedure 3 to 4 times, or until the tentacles have curled (the dipping process aids to tenderize it). Submerge the octopus in the water and let it boil over medium heat for about 2 hours, or until it is tender when pierced with a knife. (To prepare in less time, use a pressure cooker, do not lift or dip, do not add water or salt, simply cook for 30-40 min. You may add 1 medium onion for flavor only. Octopus will release and boil in it’s own liquid).
Turn off the heat and let the octopus rest in the hot water for about 10 minutes. Lift the octopus from the water and cut the tentacles into 1/2-inch-thick rings and the body into small chunks. Pour olive oil over the dish and sprinkle with hot paprika or rock salt. Serve while the octopus is still warm.