Recipe By Chef John
Published Aug 5th
Prep 10m Cook 1h 12m Additional 2h Ready In 3h 22m
Servings 2 servings Calories 513.2

Above and beyond the ingredients, the cooking method, or should I say methods, couldn’t be easier. As long as you braise it gently on low heat, until just tender, and then give it a nice sear before serving, you should be in great shape. This smoky braised octopus is great served with crusty roasted potatoes.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 (1 pound) piece Spanish octopus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup braising liquid
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Place chopped onion, garlic cloves, bay leaf, paprika, salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil into saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until onions start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add white wine to create the braising liquid. Bring to a simmer.
  2. 2 Transfer octopus into braising liquid, turning to coat with the liquid. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes and turn octopus over. Continue cooking until octopus is tender, another 40 to 45 minutes.
  3. 3 Remove from heat; transfer octopus to a large bowl. Pour braising liquid over octopus. Place bowl above a bowl of ice water to cool to room temperature.
  4. 4 Cover bowl with plastic wrap when octopus and liquid are cool. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. 5 Transfer octopus to a work surface and mop off braising juices with paper towels; remove as much of the purple skin as you want. Cut octopus into 3 or 4 serving-size pieces. Brush with olive oil.
  6. 6 Transfer braising liquid to saucepan. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Strain out solids; transfer liquid to a mixing bowl; let cool about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, salt, and cayenne pepper to make the serving sauce.
  7. 7 Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat. Transfer octopus pieces to grill. Cook until flesh is seared, almost charred, 3 or 4 minutes. Turn and cook other side until dark brown, caramelized, and heated through, another 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
  8. 8 Slice octopus into fairly thick diagonal slices. Place on a serving dish. Spoon braising liquid mixture over the top. Dust with a bit of cayenne pepper, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 513.2
  • Carbohydrate 15 g
  • Cholesterol 108.9 mg
  • Fat 29.7 g
  • Fiber 1.8 g
  • Protein 35.1 g
  • Saturated Fat 4.3 g
  • Sodium 2046.4 mg
  • Sugar 3.3 g

Chef's Notes

I love to serve braised octopus with crusty roasted potatoes.


  1. I had a 2.6 lb octopus so I modified things. I’ve never cooked octopus before and I was too lazy to look up how to cut it so I just snipped the tentacles off where I thought was right. Then, I doubled all the braising ingredients and added Greek seasoning in addition to the smoked - Read more ...
  2. Easy peasy (and I did overnight it in the fridge) with the bonus of this patience being it's one excellent plating of food. The braising liquid is delicious once lemon juice, EVO & a pinch of cayenne is added. I did serve with roasted potatoes, with the grilling of the octopus adding a wonderful smoky - Read more ...
  3. Other than being incredibly salty the recipe is good method for cooking tender octopus. The best octopus I ever had was at the JW Marriott in San Jose del Cabo. I have been searching for a recipe similar to it but this one was not it.
  4. Absolutely amazing. Only thing I changed was I boiled the octopus for an hour before braising. Left it overnight, seared in the cast iron skillet, and it was tender enough to cut with a fork. Thanks Chef John for this great recipe!
  5. Simple and delicious recipe! I condensed the time frame to 3 hrs instead of waiting until the next day. It was so tender and flavorful. Thank you for sharing this!
  6. Pretty good. I'll add more salt and get a larger octopus next time. 2.2 lb was too small.
  7. Better than the one my mother use to make I wish they were alive this would have given them extra 10 years
  8. Definatley an amazing recipe as for changes I added a bit more white wine total of 1 1/2 cup. Other than that it's one of the best octopus dishes I've done.
  9. Loved it!