Recipe #11 – Octopus Plancha with Pipirrana Salad

Octopus Plancha with  Salad

Marinade for octopus

  • 1 kiwi fruit unripe (or equivalent of paw paw)
  • 1 tspn fennel seeds
  • peel of one orange
  • 1 chilli chopped into large pieces
  • ½ tspn black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  •  500g large beaten octopus

If octopus is very large you will need to separate and cut tentacles into various portions with the same size diameter or you will run into problems when cooking. Some variance is ok but a 1cm diameter will cook a lot faster than a 5cm one.

Puree kiwi fruit and place into a large bowl with octopus, mix well.

Dry fry fennel seeds in a frying pan (with no oil) on medium until fragrant and add to octopus with orange peel, chopped chilli, olive oil and black pepper. Allow to marinade in fridge for at least 30 minutes (maximum of 2 hours).

When ready to serve, heat a cast iron skillet or grill plate on high. When hot carefully place octopus on grill and cook for a couple of minutes before turning and repeating on other side. Remove from heat and set aside to rest.

When cool enough to handle, slice into bite size pieces and place into a bowl ready for the salad.


This is a great nibble dish to have at the beginning of a BBQ.

The kiwi fruit (and paw paw) have an enzyme in them that helps to break down the protein in octopus, it works on any protein just don’t leave in too long or you will end up with a slimy mess.

Pippirana salad 

  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • ½ Spanish onion
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 tblspn Chapel Hill olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tspn cider or white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tspn cumin ground

sea salt, black pepper, caster sugar to taste

Place a small saucepan of water onto boil. When boiling, add egg and cook for 8 minutes. Drain and refresh the egg in ice cold water (this will prevent the sulphurous grey ring that can occur around the yolk).

Slice garlic clove in half and rub a large non reactive bowl well with cut side. Chop Spanish onion, green capsicum into 1cm dice and add to bowl.

When egg is cold, separate yolk and white. Chop white into 1cm dice and add to bowl. Mash yolk until smooth and add to bowl.

Dry fry cumin in a small frying pan until fragrant and add to bowl of onion and capsicum. Chop tomato into 2cm dice and add to bowl with vinegar and oil. Mix gently and well, adjust the seasoning and set aside until ready to serve.

When ready to serve the salad will be tossed again, seasoning adjusted if necessary, in a bowl or tipped onto a long serving platter and topped with the grilled octopus. Scatter with some flat leaf parsley and more olive oil if you wish. This is fantastic with good crusty bread and can be enjoyed anytime during the year but especially around Christmas.