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Htapodi Salata (Octopus Salad)

Octopus Salad2

At the beginning of Greek Orthodox Lent, Kathara Deftera or Clean Monday, I prepared several dishes and told you that I was going to post them during this period of lent.

However, due to all the events and other things popping up I have delayed.    I shall try to post the other recipes within the next few days.

For those who do not know how to clean an octopus, you can find a link at the end of the post.

I have read that some people use a cork while cooking an octopus.   I have never used one and the octopus becomes very tender without it.

Htapodi- Octopus ladorigani


The best method to cook an octopus is to cook it in its own juices.

Heat well, a large enough pot to fit the octopus (with no liquid in it) and when it is hot enough put the octopus in it.

As soon as it starts sweating out a pinkish to red liquid, lower heat and cover with the lid.  After a while turn it on the other side and keep checking it regularly as it may stick to the pot. Continue simmering until almost all the liquid is absorbed.  You will notice that the octopus will shrink considerably as it releases its fluid. No salt should be added.

This will take about 15 – 20 minutes.

When all the liquid is absorbed, the octopus is cooked.

Set aside to cool and cut it into small pieces.

Htapodi xydato

At this stage you can grill it or make it ladorigani by adding olive oil, oregano, capers, salt pepper and vinegar, pickle it by adding vinegar, olive oil and spices, oregano and fresh rosemany or continue cooking  it with pasta).



Note: Fresh octopus is less tender and if at the point that it has absorbed all its juices is hard to pierce with a fork, add a small amount of water (about ¼ cup) and continue cooking until it becomes soft and tender to the fork.

Htapodi Salata (Octopus Salad)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 1 octopus fresh or frozen (about 1 kilo)
  • ½ cup white dry wine
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • A few peppercorns
  • 3 – 4 bay leaves

For the salad:

  • 2 medium potatoes, cooked
  • 2- 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oregano (optional)
  • Lemon juice


  1. Cook the octopus as above.  When there is only a little bit of pink liquid left, add the olive oil, the wine, bay leaves and peppercorns  (I do not add salt) and when it begins boiling lower heat and simmer until the liquid has been reduced to just a few tablespoons.
  2. Remove to a platter but keep the sauce.
  3. Cut the octopus into small pieces.
  4. Meantime bake potatoes with skin on, cooking them either in the oven or in the microwave, until soft.  You can also steam them in the basket of the pressure cooker (again with skin on)  for about 15 minutes.
  5. When they can be handled, peel and cut them into small pieces.
  6. While they are still hot add the olive oil and mix.
  7. Add the leftover sauce as well as the remaining ingredients and mix.

You can find many more Greek recipes in my cookbook “More Than A Greek Salad”, and “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!” both available on all Amazon stores.



Other relevant recipes:

How to Clean an Octopus (step by step)

Htapodi me Makaronaki Kofto (Octopus with  Pasta)

Htapodi me Hilopites (Octopus with Mushrooms and homemade pasta)


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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27 Responses

  1. Pixie

    Ivy, I’m glad to hear you pointed out that you don’t really need a cork lol. I’m interested to test both methods one day. This sounds great, consider it bookmarked.

  2. Peter G

    This is my favourite way to enjoy octopus Ivy. Loive oil, lemon juice, rigani…beautiful…great post!

  3. Ivy

    Pixie, I’ve been cooking octopus probably before you were born. No cork needed, believe me.

  4. Ben

    I’ve seen several octopus recipes all around the blog-o-sphere lately. I have only prepared it once and it was kinda chewy, which it wasn’t a bad thing, but it didn’t taste like my mom used to make them.

    When I make it again, I am going to use your recipe. It looks delish and I will follow your instructions and no cork!

  5. Bellini Valli

    I used to live across the street from a well known Greek restaurant here in the valley. I loved their marinated octopus. When in Greece this dish was elevated to heavenly proportion using fresh octopus. You salad now pushes it over the top:D

  6. Ivy

    You are right fresh octopus is better but the frozen one is not bad either.

  7. Ivy

    @ Peter G. This is the Greek way to serve octopus. Delicious.

    @ Ben. No cork and it will still melt in your mouth.

  8. Laurie Constantino

    I agree with you completely about the cork – it makes no difference. I love octopus, and this looks great!

  9. Ivy

    Thank you Laurie, not to mention that the cork may decentigrate while cooking.

  10. Rosie

    This is one delicious octopus dish Ivy. I have never cleaned octopus myself so thanks for sharing the tps 🙂

    Rosie x

  11. Cakelaw

    Hi Ivy, this looks delicious. I like octopus, but I am not sure if I am up to preparing my own from scratch yet.

  12. Ivy

    Rosie and Cakelaw. If you like octopus then you can try the frozen ones. They are almost ready for you to use. The stomach sac is cleaned and the only thing you do is just cut and through away and just find the beak in the middle of all the tentacles, and cut it away.

  13. Núria

    Ooohhh I love octopus Ivy!!! And didn’t know about this way of cooking it. I’m bookmarking the recipe right away 😀
    Here in Spain it’s not the time for octopus yet and I rather have it fresh, so I will wait a little bit for that one. Have a great weekend!!!

  14. Ivy

    I am glad you liked it Nuria.

  15. Emiline

    I think the flavors of this dish sound wonderful. I’ve never had octopus before.
    Looking at octopus freaks me out! They’re so weird looking.

  16. Ivy

    Never mind Emiline, you may eventually change your mind.

  17. Linda

    Hi Ivy!

    Your octopus salad sounds pretty intriguing and must admit it looks great.

    Since you’ve also used spring onions I must let you now I’m part of a team that organizes a foodie roundup event every 2 weeks on a given theme and would love if you would participate. The current theme is springtime salads. So what do you say?

    Wishing you many yummy recipes to come 🙂

  18. Ivy

    Thanks Linda, with pleasure. I shall link to your site and see the details.

  19. Linda

    Ivy thanks for your incredibly prompt response 🙂 and for participating.
    Your salad is such a great entry!
    Please stay tuned for the roundup(on the 18th of April +/-1 day) to check other great salads.

  20. Linda

    Oops it seems that you forgot to link the roundup badge to our event :). It’s one of the requirements for participating so that others can find out about the event. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance (you can use our contact form on the site).

  21. Ivy

    Hope this is okay now Linda.

  22. Linda

    Yes this is okay too :), thank you Ivy!

  23. pixen

    That’s what I heard from my friends and they sworn by it using the cork method. Could be the chemical inside the oak that causes the octopus to soften? Just like what my family always did when cooking duck – we added a clean porcelaine spoon into the pot with the duck. It turns out tender than without the spoon. I think the porcelaine spoon creates a higher heat conductor & makes the duck meat tenderises.

    But … what I do know is that the longer a seafood is cook, the tougher the meat. Just like calamari… my family said it’s like rubber band… 🙂

  24. Ivy

    I never used a cork before Pixen and it’s always tender.

  25. Lore

    Oh wow Ivy! I just saw your salad in the round up and the octopus caught my eye right away. I like all your other ingredients too.

  26. Ivy

    Hi Lore, I’m glad you like it. Thanks for telling me about the round up. Shall check it out.

  27. Amanda

    This is my favorite dish octopus Ivy. Loive oil, lemon juice, rigani…beautiful…great post and thanks for sharing this resources.