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Breddos Tacos' recipe for octopus 'al pastor' with roasted pineapple

Tacos 'al pastor' are a Mexican take on shawarma-style grilled meats. Street-food heroes turned restaurateurs Breddos Tacos share their recipe using octopus

Breddos' recipe for octopus with roasted pineapple. Photograph by Kris Kirkham

Serves 4

Preparation time 15 mins

Cooking time 20 mins

The secret to this recipe is dipping the octopus in boiling water three times before actually adding it to the pot. This is something cooks in Galicia do to gradually introduce heat to the octopus – it prevents it from becoming rubbery.


For the octopus

  • 6 tbsps sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 frozen octopuses, defrosted

For the marinade

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbps achiote paste
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 allspice berries
  • ½ pineapple, sliced into sticks and roasted in a dry frying pan or chargrill pan until blackened
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ habanero chilli, diced
  • 4 tablespoons mango, lime and habanero salsa
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • A handful of coriander leaves
  • 4 radishes with stalks, halved


Mango, lime and habanero salsa

Makes 200g

  • 1 mango, cut into small cubes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 habanero chilli
  • Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
  • Handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Mix all the ingredients together and store in the fridge until needed.

  1. Make the marinade by blending all the ingredients together. You may need to scrape down the sides of the jug to ensure everything gets incorporated. Set aside.
  2. To cook the octopus, fill a large stockpot with water and add the salt, garlic and onion. Bring to the boil.
  3. Using tongs, grab the head of the octopus and dip the creature into the water for a few seconds. Repeat this twice more, for both octopuses, then leave them to cook in the boiling water for 40 minutes.
  4. Once the octopus is cooked, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a bowl of ice-cold water to prevent it cooking any further.
  5. Once cool, drain the octopuses and remove the tentacles. Place in a large bowl with the marinade and leave to marinate for 2–3 hours.
  6. Get a grill or, better still, a barbecue hot and add the octopus tentacles. You’re looking to create a quick char. While they are cooking, baste the tentacles with any leftover marinade.
  7. Mix the pineapple, lime juce and habanero together in a bowl. Place the octopus on a serving platter and pour some mango habanero salsa over, with a few squeezes of fresh lime juice, coriander leaves and radishes served alongside.