Octopus Lagareiro/Polvo à Lagareiro

Lagareiro is a style of cooking fish which has many variants but typically ends in dressing the fish generously with extra virgin olive oil (lagareiro is the owner of an olive oil press) after grilling or roasting. There are great myths about octopus, its tenderness and how not to get it to taste like rubber. From boiling it in coke to “toe-dipping” the octopus three before submersion or to “beat it to death” with a hammer, the tricks are numerous. In general it is easier to work with good quality frozen octopus than with fresh one. I find that if you cook the thing long enough it will eventually get soft. Octopus does shrink considerable when cooking.


1 octopus
1 large bunch of coriander
2 cloves garlic
8 tbsp olive oil
1 onion carved with 6 cloves
1/2 lemon
2 bay leaves

1. Prepare the octopus for boiling. Frozen ones usually come ready to cook. Boil with the bay leaves and onion. Check tenderness with a fork after 40 minutes and continue to cook as necessary.

2. Once the octopus is cooked remove and let cool down a little. (The cooking water retains quite a lot of flavour and can be used as stock for cooking rice. You can keep the head roughly chopped to add to the rice).
Cut up the arms either whole or thinly sliced along the length, brush with a little olive oil and grill over charcoal turning regularly.

3. Make the dressing by crushing the garlic with a little salt on a mortar and pestle, add roughly chopped coriander and blend everything with olive oil and lemon juice.

4. When the octopus is done (10-15 minutes should do it as the idea is just to finish it with a char-grilled taste) pour the dressing on top and serve immediately with “batatas a murro” (“punched potatoes” – roast small potatoes with skin and sea salt and then punched!)


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Pedro Rebelo

Pedro is a composer, sound artist and performer. In 2002, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh where he conducted research in both music and architecture. Pedro has recently led participatory projects involving communities in Belfast, favelas in Maré, Rio de Janeiro, travelling communities in Portugal and a slum town in Mozambique. This work has resulted in sound art exhibitions at venues such as the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, Centro Cultural Português Maputo, Espaço Ecco in Brasilia and Parque Lage and Museu da Maré in Rio, Museu Nacional Grão Vasco and MAC Nitéroi. His music has been presented in venues such as the Melbourne Recital Hall, National Concert Hall Dublin, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Ars Electronica, Casa da Música, and in events such as Weimarer Frühjahrstage fur zeitgenössische Musik, Wien Modern Festival, Cynetart and Música Viva. His work as a pianist and improvisor has been released by Creative Source Recordings and he has collaborated with musicians such as Chris Brown, Mark Applebaum, Carlos Zingaro, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros as well as artists such as Suzanne Lacy. His writings reflect his approach to design and creative practice in a wider understanding of contemporary culture and emerging technologies. Pedro has been Visiting Professor at Stanford University (2007), senior visiting professor at UFRJ, Brazil (2014) and Collaborating Researcher at INEM-md Universidade Nova, Lisboa (2016). He has been Music Chair for international conferences such as ICMC 2008, SMC 2009, ISMIR 2012 and has been invited keynote speaker at ANPPOM 2017, ISEA 2017, CCMMR 2016 and EMS 2013. At Queen's University Belfast, he has held posts as Director of Education, Director of Research and Head of School. In 2012 he was appointed Professor of Sonic Arts at Queen's and awarded the Northern Bank's "Building Tomorrow's Belfast" prize. He has recently been awarded two major grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council including the interdisciplinary project “Sounding Conflict”, investigating relationships between sound, music and conflict situations. Ongoing research interests include immersive sound design and augmented listening experiences. Pedro has been appointed Director of the Sonic Arts Research Centre in 2021.

5 thoughts on “Octopus Lagareiro/Polvo à Lagareiro”

  1. Hello Pedro,
    We’ve selected you as our Foodista Food Blog of the Day for this Wednesday, August 26th! Your blog for Octopus Lagareiro will be featured on the Foodista homepage for 24 hours.

    This is a new feature that we recently launched and are thrilled to post your blog.
    Since you are now a part of the Foodista Featured Blogger of The Day Community, we’ve created a special badge for you to display proudly on your blog sidebar. I couldn’t find your email on your blog to send you the access code for the special badge, but

    I want to make sure you get it if you are interested. Please send me an email and I’ll send it right away.
    We are really enjoying your blog and look forward to seeing your recipes, tips and techniques on Foodista!


    Melissa Peterman
    Editor and Community Developer
    Foodista- The Cooking Encyclopedia everyone can edit!

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