Cooking from a Portuguese perspective

Octopus Lagareiro/Polvo à Lagareiro

with 5 comments

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!)

Written by Pedro Rebelo

August 17, 2009 at 11:16 am

Posted in Fish, Recipes/Receitas

5 Responses

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  1. Adorei conhecer o seu blogue. Cheguei aqui pela mão da Elvira.

    Gostei das fotos, dos textos e dos sons 🙂

    Laranja com Canela

    August 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm

  2. 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!

    Melissa Peterman

    August 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm

  3. […] and varied Portuguese food is until I lived abroad for a year. I craved for roasted cod, octopus “à lagareiro”, seafood rice or açorda. The Decadent and Entra are two good options for fresh, tasty Portuguese […]

  4. […] I lived abroad for a year and didn’t have access to it. I craved for roasted cod, octopus “à lagareiro”, seafood rice, or […]

  5. […] I lived abroad for a year and didn’t have access to it. I craved for roasted cod, octopus “à lagareiro”, seafood rice, […]

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