Marinated Baby Octopus


Many nations have a version of marinated octopus. In Portugal, it would customarily be served at the beginning of the meal as one of a number of dishes placed on the table. However, it can also be finished on the BBQ.


Serves: 6
Preparation time:
Cooking time:


750g (1 1/2 lbs) baby octopus
1/12 cup (125ml/4fl oz) red wine vinegar
1/2 onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60ml/2fl oz) lemon juice (1 small lemon)
1 cup (250ml/8fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
1 cup freshly chopped herbs, e.g. parsley, coriander (cilantro)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint


  1. If octopus are not already prepared, cut off their heads and remove and discard the small hard ‘beak’ that remains in the top.
  2. Cover remaining tentacles with vinegar, onion, bay leaf and peppercorns and add cold water to cover, about 2 cups (500ml/18fl oz), depending on the size of the saucepan.
  3. Bring to the boil and drain immediately.
  4. Combine onion, chilli, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and herbs and season to taste.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Serve with octopus and crusty bread.

Lyndey’s Note: if preferred omit the boiling stage, marinate and when you are ready BBQ briefly

Wine: Choose a rose or light style of red wine.