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Octopus with a Vietnamese Salad


  • 600-700 gm octopus, tenderised

  • sea salt

  • 2 chillies, seeded & finely sliced

  • 1 heaped tspn shaved palm sugar (or raw sugar)

  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed

  • 1 tbsp Asian fish sauce

  • a splash of sesame oil

  • a splash of Chinese rice wine (or sherry)

  • 4 limes

  • olive oil spray

  • 2-3 spring (green) onions, sliced

  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves

  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves

  • 1 medium carrot, shredded

  • ¼ wonga bok (Chinese cabbage), finely sliced

  • 3 tbsp peanuts, dry roasted (optional)


  • 1.

    Cut off and discard the heads of octopus. Sprinkle tentacles with salt and remove as much membrane as possible. Then wash and drain on kitchen paper towels. Set aside.

  • 2.

    To make the dressing, whisk chillies, sugar, garlic, fish sauce, sesame oil, Chinese wine and juice of 2 limes. Taste for balance.

  • 3.

    Generously spray octopus with oil and cook on a lightly oiled preheated ridged grill (or BBQ) for 3-4 mins, turning now and again and sprinkling with a little lime juice as you do so.

  • 4.

    Toss mint, coriander, carrot, wonga bok and peanuts with dressing to taste.

  • 5.

    Mound salad in individual bowls and top with octopus and a sprinkling of more dressing. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

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