Pulpo a las Brasas (Grilled Octopus)

This dish is a Spanish classic, and is often seen on menus in Spanish restaurants. It is a dish that is simple to cook, but can be tricky to get right. This recipe will give you everything you need to know to make a perfect Pulpo a las Brasas.


  • 1kg octopus
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the octopus in a large saucepan with the garlic, onion, bay leaves, smoked paprika and olive oil.
  2. Cover with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours, or until the octopus is cooked through.
  3. Preheat a griddle pan over a high heat.
  4. Remove the octopus from the pan and cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the octopus on the griddle pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until evenly charred. Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve immediately.

Potential changes & improvements

If you want to, you could add some potatoes to the pan when cooking the octopus. This will give you a complete meal in one dish. You could also add some chilli flakes to the octopus before grilling, if you like your food with a bit of a kick.

What other food it works well with

Pulpo a las Brasas is traditionally served with aioli, but it also goes well with a simple green salad.

Common Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes when cooking Pulpo a las Brasas is not cooking the octopus for long enough. This results in tough, chewy octopus. Another mistake is not charring the octopus enough on the griddle pan. This step is important to give the dish its signature smoky flavour.

Nutritional Information

Each serving of Pulpo a las Brasas contains approximately:

  • Calories: 300
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 41g
  • Salt: 2.5g


This recipe contains the following allergens:

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon

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