I love seafood so this dish was on the top of my list of Spanish food to try. This Galician snack is available at most bars and restaurants in Madrid and it certainly takes some cojones to try. I’ve seen how this one is prepared by watching “Spain on the Road Again” by Mario Batali. All you do is boil a huge pot of water and when boiling you dunk the octopus making sure you dip it in the water three times. Now I’m not sure why but all of the recipes I’ve seen calls for this step. Maybe it helps with tenderizing or maybe it’s some weird voodoo but I’m not one to mess with old time Spainish traditions so three dunks it is. Let this cook for 40-50 minutes depending on the size of the octopus then letting it rest for about 15 after.
Keep the water used to cook the octopus to boil a few potatoes until tender then cut in chunks. Slice the tentacles from the octopus into bite sized pieces and put them on a plate with the potatoes. Final touch is of course a drizzle of olive oil, because this is Spain and it’ll be in pretty much every dish, and a sprinkle of sea salt and paprika. Enjoy with some tinto de verano and some sliced crusty bread.
Now I say that you need to have some cojones for this dish and I mean it. If you can get past the sight of tentacles you still have to get past the texture. Now if it’s cooked properly it should have a firm but chewy texture which for some people they can’t tolerate but if you’re open to try new things this one should be on your list when you come to Spain.