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Deep-Fried Octopus from Spain – Pulpo Frito Recipe

The Pulpo Frito, also known as deep-fried octopus, had its origins in the coasts of Andalusia. It was developed by the wives of sailors many centuries ago, and since then this dish is one of the most popular Andalusian foods.

It is believed that the wives were looking for different ways of cooking the octopus since the texture was too hard to chew, thankfully they had the idea of boiling it and then fry it to get a better texture, and later it became one of the most popular dishes in the region and is one of the most common things to eat in Malaga.

Nowadays if you are looking for things to do in Cadiz, one of them would probably be going to a local bar and treating yourself with this fried octopus alongside more types of tapas and a cold drink. 

fried octopus, pulpo frito
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Step by Step instructions

To make this fried octopus recipe you will need the following ingredients:

  • 120g of chickpea or cornflour
  • 100g of wheat flour
  • 1 octopus (or its legs/tentacles)
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
fried grilled octopus, grilled octopus
  1. The first step is to wash and clean the octopus, even if you bought it in the store and it looks clean because it might have some sand on its tentacles. In the meantime put some water to boil on a big cooking pot.
  2. Once that your water is boiling, drop the octopus in the pot and let it boil for 30 minutes. Some recipes don’t call for this step, but by making it you will get a better and softer texture.
  3. Rinse the octopus, let it cool for just a couple of minutes (2 to 5) and cut it into small pieces. If you want to, as an additional step, you can boil some potatoes on the octopus leftover water to make a potato salad as a side for the octopus.
  4. Cover the octopus completely on the mix of flours, if you can find frying or tempura flour use that one, if not the mix mentioned on the list will work too! Besides that start heating your oil, you can use other vegetable oil if you don’t have olive oil.
  5. Fry the octopus pieces in the hot oil until they get a golden brown color, remember that since you boiled them before they are already cooked and you won’t get raw fish!
  6. Remove the excess oil and if you made the potato salad, serve them together! 

Substitution of ingredients

flour cooking, baking

You will see in the ingredients two types of flour. This combination helps to ensure a crispy result, in some regions you can find tempura or a type of flour that is special for deep-fried recipes if you find it useful that one!

Another thing you can make is to stir an egg with chopped parsley and garlic and cover the octopus pieces on that mixture and on the flour, this way you will get a more complex flavor!

If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can use any type of gluten-free flour or starch to cover your octopus on. Also, make sure that your frying oil and cooking pots are completely clean.

Tips on Serving

If you are looking for what to eat in Seville, you will probably see that local bars and restaurants serve this fried octopus alongside with potato salad or different types of sauces, if you are in your home you can still make them!

Even though the fried octopus shines on its own, you can serve it with a classic potato salad, seasoned with olive oil or mayonnaise. You can also make different sauces to dip the octopus in, such as plain cream cheese or something more complex like aioli. 

I love to serve it with some lemon wedges and put a little bit of lemon juice on top. And if you are looking for a healthier alternative to eating octopus, don’t hesitate to try our Spanish grilled octopus salad recipe.

Tips on Storage

food storage fridge

The best thing you can do is cook it right before serving it. The best deep-fried foods don’t get along with the freezer, since they tend to lose a lot of their crispiness, and the deep-fried octopus is not the exception.

If you have any leftover fried octopus (which is very rare because it gets devoured!) you can let it in the fridge for 1 to 3 days, since fried and fishy food isn’t recommended to be in the fridge for too long.

You can also boil the octopus, cover it in flour, and then freeze it before frying it, but you should only make this if you bought your octopus fresh, you can’t refreeze it!

If you can’t get enough of Spanish deep-fried octopus, have a look at my fried octopus recipe web story here.

Deep-Fried Octopus from Spain – Recipe card

Yield: 5 servings

Spanish Deep-Fried Octopus Recipe – (Pulpo Frito)

fried octopus, pulpo frito

The Pulpo Frito, also known as deep-fried octopus, had its origins in the coasts of Andalusia. It was developed by the wives of sailors many centuries ago, and since then this dish is one of the most popular Andalusian foods.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 120g of chickpea or cornflour
  • 100g of wheat flour
  • 1 octopus (or its legs/tentacles)
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Wash and clean your octopus. Heat a cooking pot with water
  2. Once that your water is boiling throw the octopus in and let it boil for 30 minutes
  3. After that rinse it and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Cut it into tiny pieces.
  4. Cover the octopus pieces with the flour mix and start heating your oil.
  5. Fry the octopus in the hot oil until they get a golden brown color.
  6. Remove the excess oil and they’re ready!

Notes

Some recipes don’t call for boiling the octopus before, especially those about fried baby octopus, but it is very important that you boil them to achieve the perfect texture.

In some regions, you might find a type of flour that is special for deep-fried food recipes, if you find it useful that one and if you don’t find it you can use the combination present on this recipe.

Nutrition Information

Yield

5

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 164Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 16mgSodium 197mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 9g

All information presented and written are intended for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. The writers and publishers of visitsouthernspain.com are not nutritionists or registered dietitians. Statements within this site have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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