Spanglish Ensalada De Pulpo – Octopus Salad

When I was a kid and family would come visit from either New York or Puerto Rico, my parents would go all out making all kinds of authentic Puerto Rican food and we (I have 3 older brothers – Eligio Jr, Ellis & Dennis) would LOVE it. My cousins from Puerto Rico would call us Newyoricans. We were like, but we live in Reading, at that time the “States” were New York, Y La Florida. 

I just talked to my mom about some of the old school Puerto Rican recipes and she reminded me of this one Ensalada De Pulpo, Octopus Salad!!!

This is proof I was never a picky eater. I loved Octopus so much as a kid that my mom used to get it in the cans and I would eat it right out of the can. If she gave me a choice between tuna fish or Octopus I would always chose Octopus. UNTIL… one day she packed it in my lunch bag for school. All of the other kids thought I was a freak. I tried to convince them that it was Spanish Tuna Fish. HA that’s what I thought it was.


– An Octopus – (3-4 lbs)

– 1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar 

– 2 Bay Leaves 

– 1/2 Chopped Onion (I like red onions in salad – That’s the Spanglish in me)

– 2 Cloves of Garlic – rough chopped

– Juice of 2 lemons

– Olive Oil

– Vinegar (Balsamic, Champagne – Whatever you prefer in your dressings)

– Spanglish Spice Mix

– Spanish Olives

– Avocados

– Lettuce

– Tomatoes

– Pilón pestle and mortar


First clean and remove the eyes of the Octopus (seriously, I can’t wait for my husband to return from his business trip so we can shoot this for YouTube!) Cook Octopus in Water with a little bit of salt, bay leaves and 1/4 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar. The Vinegar will help tenderize the Octopus. Make sure your Octopus is completely submerged. Bring to boil then reduce to medium heat. Cook for at least 1 hr. Poke at thickest part of Octopus with a bamboo skewer. Once you can poke easily through skin and meat, its ready. 

For your vinaigrette take your pilón and smash garlic with some Spanglish Spice Mix. In a bowl combine garlic, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Vinegar and mix. 

Cut Octopus into small bit size pieces adding them to your Vinaigrette. Then remove from bowl and place on top of a bed of lettuce add tomatoes, avocado and parsley. Add more Vinaigrette to entire salad!



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