Pan-grilled Octopus with Chorizo and Mojo Verde

Pan-grilled Octopus with Chorizo and Mojo Verde

This popular recipe from the Iberian coast is a delightful combination of tender octopus, savory chorizo, and Mojo Verde, a zesty and herby green sauce. It’s a perfect choice for a special dinner or a gathering with friends.

Servings: 4

Time: 60 minutes to 2 hours depending on the softness of the octopus. Read “Tenderizing Frozen Octopus” in the preparation segment first.


Mojo Verde

  • 6 garlic cloves or to taste
  • 2 cups (70 g) packed fresh cilantro (coriander leaves) or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Roasted Potatoes

  • 8-10 medium-sized Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, washed, scrubbed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 lbs (1 kg) frozen octopus legs (I use Nuchar from Costco)
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium sized carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium celery stick, roughly chopped
  • 1 twig parsley
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) leek, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of salt and some peppercorns for the broth
  • 1/2 lb (500 g) chorizo sausage, sliced (optional)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste


Tenderizing Frozen Octopus:

Fresh octopus is hard to come by, so I am only describing how to tenderize frozen octopus tentacles, which in gastronomy are often called octopus legs. The package will often show the label pre-cooked or Cooked Octopus. Don’t get fooled by this, test the softness yourself by piercing the thick part of a leg with a sharp knife or cutting a thin slice of it and chew it. My preferred tenderizing method for this recipe is to cook the octopus in a simmering broth for at least 30 minutes. I use enough water to cover the octopus, adding a bit of salt, some peppercorns, the onion, carrot, celery, leek, parsley and a bay leaf. Check the doneness before proceeding to the next step, it might require longer cooking. If need be do the tenderizing process a day before and store the broth with the octopus in the fridge once it has cooled down.

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

Roasted Potatoes:

In a large bowl, toss the potato halves with olive oil until they are evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the potato halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased. Roast the potatoes in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy on the edges. You may want to flip them halfway through cooking for even browning.

Mojo Verde:

Pulse garlic, cilantro (coriander leaves) or parsley, cumin and sea salt in a mini-blender. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil and give it another pulse. Add the sherry vinegar or lemon juice just before serving to keep the green color of the cilantro (coriander leaves). Pulse it again shortly and taste for salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick thin it with a bit of water.

Pan-grilled Octopus:

Place the octopus tentacles on the preheated grill pan. Grill for 4-5 minutes per side or until the octopus is slightly charred. In the last 2 minutes of grilling, add the sliced chorizo to the pan, allowing it to cook and infuse its flavors with the octopus. Arrange the grilled octopus, chorizos and the roasted potatoes on a serving platter. Drizzle the Mojo Verde sauce over the top and serve the remainder on the side. Garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired.

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