Pulpo a las Brasas: Grilled Octopus, Mediterranean Style

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Pulpo a las Brasas, or Grilled Octopus, is a classic Mediterranean dish that highlights the tender and flavorful qualities of octopus. This dish is popular in various coastal regions where seafood is abundant and grilling is a favored cooking method. Grilling octopus gives it a delicious charred exterior while keeping the meat tender and succulent inside. Seasoned with simple yet aromatic ingredients, Pulpo a las Brasas is a dish that captures the essence of seaside dining and culinary tradition.


  • 1 large octopus (about 3-4 pounds), cleaned and thawed if frozen
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Prepare the Octopus:
    • Rinse the octopus under cold water to remove any impurities.
    • Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the octopus. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
    • Once boiling, carefully lower the octopus into the pot.
    • Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for about 45-60 minutes, or until the octopus is tender. The tentacles should be easy to pierce with a fork, but not falling apart.
    • Remove the octopus from the pot and let it cool slightly.
  2. Marinate the Octopus:
    • In a bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, smoked paprika, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
    • Pat the octopus dry with paper towels and place it in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag.
    • Pour the marinade over the octopus, turning to coat evenly.
    • Cover the dish or seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Grill the Octopus:
    • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
    • Remove the octopus from the marinade, reserving the marinade for basting.
    • Grill the octopus for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until charred grill marks form and the octopus is heated through.
    • While grilling, baste the octopus occasionally with the reserved marinade to keep it moist and flavorful.
  4. Serve:
    • Transfer the grilled octopus to a serving platter.
    • Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley for garnish.
    • Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

Tips for Serving

  • Pulpo a las Brasas is often served as a main course alongside a fresh green salad and crusty bread.
  • For added flavor, you can drizzle the grilled octopus with a little more extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving.
  • Pair this dish with a crisp white wine or a light-bodied red wine to complement the flavors of the grilled octopus.


Pulpo a las Brasas, or Grilled Octopus, is a dish that showcases the simplicity and elegance of Mediterranean cuisine. With its tender texture, smoky flavor, and aromatic seasoning, this dish is sure to impress your guests and transport them to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. Whether you’re grilling octopus for a special occasion or simply enjoying a taste of the sea, Pulpo a las Brasas is a delightful choice that celebrates the beauty of seafood cooked over an open flame. Enjoy this dish with loved ones and savor the flavors of the sea in every bite.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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