Pulpo a feira, the famous Galician octopus recipe

The recipe for Galician octopus or ‘pulpo a feira’ is one of the most representative culinary attractions of Galicia. Its difficulty lies in getting the exact point where the octopus has the perfect texture, neither too hard nor too soft. In this case we will use paprika and potatoes, although other recipes call for different ingredients, like onions. To get the best taste, the octopus should be frozen for 24 hours before using, so that the muscle fibers will break and you don’t need to soften the meat by hand (which is very laborious). Shall we begin?


  • 1 octopus (about 2 kg)
  • 4 potatoes, cut and peeled
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Some paprika powder

How to prepare ‘pulpo a feira’:

  1. Fill a very big pot with 2 litres of water (you will have to cover the whole octopus). When it begins to boil, introduce the octopus into the water to scare it so it becomes tender. This means that we will put it in and we will remove it quickly. We repeat this action about 4 times, so that the skin does not come off during the rest of the cooking process.
  2. After scaring the octopus, leave it in there to cook for 40 minutes on medium-high heat. This will help soften the octopus.
  3. After 40 minutes, turn off the fire and let the octopus sit for 10 minutes with the lid on the pot. Then, remove it from the pan and let it cool before cutting.
  4. While waiting for the octopus to cool, re-use the same water to boil the potatoes. You will know if the potatoes are done by pricking them with a toothpick or a fork. The center should be soft.
  5. When plating, it is best to use a wooden plate. Put the potatoes on the bottom and the cut octopus on top. Sprinkle a bit of paprika, drizzle with oil, and add salt if necessary.
'Pulpo a la gallega' or 'pulpo a feira'.

‘Pulpo a la gallega’ or ‘pulpo a feira’. | Shutterstock

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