A Portuguese favorite: Octopus Fillets and Octopus Rice recipe

Visiting Porto and not eating grilled fish in Matosinhos is like visiting Rome and not seeing the Pope. Matosinhos, located roughly 8 kilometers north of Porto, is known as the land of the fishermen, and one of its streets – Rua Heróis de França – is the ideal location to have grilled fish and amazing seafood.

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Why is this?

In less than 500 meters you will find no less than 20 restaurants entirely dedicated to satisfying your fish and seafood cravings. Would you like your fish simply grilled or prepared in traditional stews such as Açorda de Camarão, Arroz de Marisco, Filetes de Polvo com arroz do mesmo? Whichever it is, it will be hard to choose among so many delicious choices! Today we are sharing the secrets to one of the most typical dishes, Filetes de Polvo com arroz do mesmo. It is fried octopus tentacles served with octopus rice and we promise that you won’t regret the time spent cooking! So go buy yourself a good quality octopus and come back. We’ll be waiting. Ready to start?


For the fried octopus tentacles:

  • 1 full-grown octopus, about 1.5 kg (preferably fresh, but you can also use frozen)
  • Breadcrumbs / Corn semolina (according to your taste)
  • 2 eggs
  • Frying oil/olive oil (according to your taste)
  • Lemon juice
  • Pepper

For the rice:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 small, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 cups of the water used to cook the octopus
  • The tips of the octopus’ tentacles (we’ll get there)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Octopus Fillets and Octopus Rice recipe

  • Place the octopus in a pot large enough to fit it with enough boiling water to cover it. Do not add salt. If you are using a frozen octopus, you do not need to add as much water since it will release a large amount of it. Let it cook until the octopus meat is soft or once it starts smelling like the octopus (a trick you can also use when baking cakes!). Keep the cooking water to the side after you have removed the cooked octopus.
  • Cut off the octopus’ tentacles. Then cut them lengthwise so you have 2 halves of the tentacle. Cut off the tips of the tentacles and set aside as they will be used to prepare the rice.
  • Season the remaining large octopus’ halves with lemon juice and pepper.
  • In a small bowl beat the eggs. In another bowl spread the bread crumbs.
  • Toss the octopus’ halves in the egg mixture and then in the bread crumbs.
  • Once all the halves have been coated, fry the octopus’ halves in a large frying pan. The frying oil’s temperature should not be too hot, in order to prevent it from getting brownish too quickly. Do not forget to turn the octopus’ halves around to get a nice, golden color on both sides.

For the rice:

  • Chop the onion, garlic cloves, and tomatoes. Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil in a pan for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
  • Once the onion starts to become translucent, add the tomatoes chopped in pieces and cook for a few more minutes so that the tomatoes soften a bit.
  • Add the tips of the octopus as well as the 2 cups of leftover water from boiling the octopus (if you see that it is not enough you can also add a little bit more) and the rice, stir with a wooden spoon for a minute.
  • Once the mixture starts to boil, add salt and a little bit of pepper. Immediately cover it with a lid and let it cook at a low temperature until all the water has disappeared.
  • Once the rice is cooked, let it rest for around 10 minutes, but not on the stove, otherwise, it will get burned! Then serve it with the fried octopus halves.

Bom apetite!
Taste Porto Foodie Team

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