Pulpo de Gallega Recipe
Spain's Galicia region is famous for its seafood and especially its octopus. They cook and serve the octopus in a special way. I think you will get an idea about Spanish cuisine or rather the Spanish logic of cooking when you learn how to cook the pulpo de gallega.
For pulpo de gallega, octopus is boiled whole. It is then sliced. It is placed on boiled potatoes. Finally, they are served with olive oil, coarse salt and slightly hot smoked paprika. The recipe is just that. The preparation method is extremely simple, no complicated marinating and cooking techniques or sauces are used. Service is very simple. Spices are used very little. This is also a summary of spanish cuisine.
As can be seen in many examples such as pan con tomate, gazpacho, patatas bravas, the use of spices in Spanish cuisine is very little and the method used is very simple. In this respect, I compare the Spanish cuisine to the Thracian cuisine. As can be seen in recipes such as sauteed green peppers with cottage cheese and Edirne style fried crispy livers, the use of spices is low (not even used in these recipes), the processing method is simple. The most frequently used spice in both cuisines is paprika. Not to mention that they have very similar dishes such as paella and tavuk kapama.
Returning to our recipe, the only point I should mention about the recipe is the way of cooking. You can cook the octopus in a pressure cooker as I did, or in a regular pot by cooking it for a longer time. As a matter of fact, Spanish sources say that the octopus cooks in a regular pot in 20-25 minutes per kg, but trust me, that is not possible. It is soft as Turkish delight in 30-35 minutes in a pressure cooker. I guess it will take 1.5 hours to find this softness in a normal pot.
In order not to break the skin of the octopus during cooking, it is dipped in boiling water three times before cooking, kept for three seconds and removed. Although small tears occur on the skin during this procedure, no major damage occurs.
There is only one ingredient that gives the special flavor of pulpo de gallega; smoked paprika. If you have eaten pulpo de gallega in Galicia before and you want to catch that flavor at home, you need this spice.
Enjoy the recipe...
- 1.5-2 kg of cleaned octopus,
- 4 medium potatoes,
- Olive oil,
- Smoked paprika (hot or sweet according to your taste),
- Sea salt.
- Boil as much water as the octopus can enter in the pressure cooker,
- Hold the head of the octopus and place it in boiling water and count to three and take out the octopus,
- Do this two more times and drop the octopus into the water for the fourth time,
- Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 30-35 minutes,
- Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in another pot,
- Slice the peeled potatoes and distribute them on the serving plates,
- Take the octopus out of the water and slice it before it cools down and place it on the potatoes,
- Drizzle olive oil generously over them, sprinkle with paprika and sea salt.