In a remote corner of the Indian Ocean, the little island of Rodrigues lies in a shallow lagoon created by the coral reef that completely surrounds it. Seafood is plentiful, including Octopus cyanea, which hides in the nooks of the reef and rocks in the turquoise coastal waters. Also known as the big blue octopus, it is found throughout much of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. There are a number of octopus dishes commonly found on menus across the island, but my favourite is this simple octopus salad recipe.

The beautiful water of the lagoon that surrounds the island of Rodrigues, Mauritius

Octopus has been traditionally hunted on Rodrigues for generations by wading out into the lagoon and using metal sticks to search the hiding places where the octopus shelter. Sometimes, boats are used to search the deeper parts of the lagoon, with long spears used to catch the octopus. In order to keep this fishing sustainable and to allow juveniles to grow to an optimal size, the island has in recent years introduced a fishing season for the octopus. When I visited the island this February, the season was drawing to a close and I was just in time to see the last of the octopus drying in the sunshine by the coast.

Octopus drying in the sunshine of Rodrigues Island, Mauritius

Octopus salad is a popular dish found on many menus across the island. Dried octopus is sometimes used but in this recipe, from Rene and Stenny, the team behind the great food at Le Pandanus, it’s made with fresh or frozen octopus.

Easy recipe for octopus salad from the island of Rodrigues

Octopus salad from Rodrigues Island, Mauritius
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Octopus salad from the island of Rodrigues

A light and colourful salad from Rodrigues, a remote tropical island in the Indian Ocean.
Course Salad
Cuisine Mauritius, Rodriguan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 123kcal
Author Rene and Stenny, Le Pandanus, Rodrigues Island

Ingredients

  • 350 grams octopus (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • Half green pepper, thinly sliced
  • Half yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 red shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Boil the octopus for 35 to 40 minutes until it is suitably soft for eating. Drain and leave to cool before chopping into small pieces.
  • Thoroughly mix the ingredients together in a mixing bowl, adding a little salt and pepper at the end as required.
  • Chill in the fridge or serve immediately as a starter or side dish.

Notes

Alternatively, if you'd like to use dried octopus, first grill it on a charcoal fire for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size. Lightly beat it with a wooden stick to remove any ash. Then slice the octopus with a very sharp knife before adding it to the salad mix.

 

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Easy octopus salad recipe from the island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean

 

 

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