I’m a big fan of octopus, and in fact I uploaded my recipe for balsamic grilled octopus with polenta my very first week of food/recipe blogging. For this Grilled Octopus Tacos with pineapple and shallot salsa recipe I’m going with a more Mexican beach food style. So delicious!
For this recipe I am using my Chasseur grill pan, but you can use a regular pan or even a BBQ if you wanted. I will say that the caramelization from the grilled pineapple really shines in this recipe!
How To Break Down An Octopus
For my recipe of 8-10 tacos I use a 1kg (2.2 lbs) Mediterranean octopus. of course you can use any edible octopus you can find in the store. And don’t worry about breaking it down, it’s super easy. Just take a sharp knife and cut the 8 tentacles off right at the base. Simmer the tentacles for 1 hour in just barely boiling water. You can also cook them at a rolling boil for about 15-20 minutes, but that works better for smaller tentacles in my experience.
For the pineapple I use a fairly small fruit. Just slice into rounds and cut the edges off. They grill better when they are cut into thick steaks; I aim for around 2cm in thickness.
Grilling Octopus Tentacles On A Grill Pan
A grill pan is just a regular pan with raised portions to give meat grill marks. It’s kind of a cheat way to cook because using a pan is a much easier way to regulate temperature and contact compared to a BBQ. Oil the pan with a bit of olive oil and let heat up slowly (if using cast iron like myself). Then toss on the octopus tentacles and grill for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
If you are using a cast iron grill pan then the lid will be sufficiently heavy enough to give some downward pressure. I like to press the tentacles down a bit as they cook to really build up a nice char.
Voila! Perfectly grilled octopus tentacles. Move the tentacles to a resting area or cutting board while you grill the pineapple. Before compiling the tacos, slice the tentacles into bite size rounds.
Should You Grill Pineapple?
Uhhhh, yes. You absolutely should grill pineapple. In any hot recipe that uses pineapple it will always be better if you grill the fruit first. The sugars caramelize and taste so much better; and in this recipe specifically it really pulls everything together.
Grilled Octopus Tacos Salsa
No tacos recipe will be complete without a perfectly paired salsa. This one I just came up with off the top of my head as I was prepping the octopus, but I think it matched very well.
- 1 Lime, juiced
- 1 Tomato, chopped
- 1 Chili Pepper, finely chopped (seeds optional)
- 1 bunch Cilantro, roughly chopped. If you don’t like cilantro you can substitute with some flat leaf parsley, or just leave it out entirely.
- 1 large Shallot, finely chopped
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
Add all ingredients to a bowl and give a good mix. You can add a little or a lot of salsa to the tacos when you start to plate them.
Making The Grilled Octopus Tacos With Pineapple And Shallot Salsa
When I make seafood street tacos like these grilled octopus tacos I prefer to use flour tortillas. However this is just my personal preference and you can use corn if you like. I do recommend tossing them on the fire for a few seconds each side to warm them up and give them a nice char.
Plate the tacos with a scoop of grilled octopus meat. Dress with some chopped grilled pineapple and diced avocado. Then finish off with however much shallot salsa you like. Enjoy!
Try These Other Delicious Octopus Recipes
Grilled Octopus Tacos With Pineapple And Shallot Salsa
- Grill Pan or BBQ or Skillet
- 1 kg Octopus boiled for 1 hour
- 1 small Pineapple sliced into 2cm thick steaks
- 2 Avocado diced
- 10 Tortillas street style
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil for grilling
- 1 large Shallot finely chopped
- 1 Lime
- 1 Chili Pepper finely chopped
- 1 Tomato diced
- 1 bunch Cilantro roughly chopped
- Salt to taste
- Pepper freshly cracked, to taste
- After boiling the octopus for 1 hour use a knife to slice off the legs from the base. If you bought just the tentacles then you of course don't need to cut them more.
- On a grill pan on high heat (or whatever cooking pan you want to use) brush on a bit of olive oil and lay down the tentacles. Cook for 3-4 minutes a side, using the heavy lid to press them down into the grille. If you are using a normal pan or BBQ then just sear them as you would a steak.
- Remove the tentacles and replace with the pineapple steaks. Grill for 5 minutes flipping halfway through.
- While the pineapple is cooking you can mix the salsa together.
- Slice the octopus tentacles into bite size rounds.
- Toss a tortilla onto the open flame for a few seconds a side, then plate. Lay down a scoop of octopus meat onto the tortilla, then some chopped grilled pineapple and diced avocado. Finally spoon over some of that shallot salsa. Serve and enjoy!