Salpicón de marisco, seafood salad

Salpicón de marisco or seafood salad, this is a very fresh tapa made with seafood such as octopus, mussels and prawns accompanied by vegetables of our choice. In our case we will use green and red peppers, tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers. All this seasoned with a vinaigrette. Doesn’t your mouth water just by reading it?

Salpicón, originally, was a very humble dish made with accessible and economical cut meats. It used to be accompanied by a vinaigrette and some vegetables.

This recipe has changed or evolved from its origin, which is estimated to have started at the end of the 16th century, to the present day. In fact, it is more common to find a salpicón de marisco than a salpicón made with meat.

The recipe for this can vary greatly depending on the area in which it is prepared or the chef’s taste. The most common ingredients used are octopus, mussels and prawns. Although they can also be found with monkfish and spider crab.

It is a perfect tapa for the hot season because it is light and cool, and can be prepared in advance. In fact, we recommend that you do so because this way we will achieve that the flavors mature and intensify.

Salpicón de marisco, seafood salad
Recipe type: Tapas
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 12,35 oz (350 g) cooked octopus, 3 legs
  • 35,2 oz (1000 g) raw mussels
  • 450 g of medium prawns
  • 2 Raf tomatoes, firm
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • ½ red pepper
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3,5 oz (100 g) of olive oil
  • 1,75 oz (50 g) apple vinegar
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Cook the octopus.
  1. Buy a whole fresh octopus, weighing approximately 2 kg.
  2. Before cooking the octopus, if it is fresh, we must soften its meat which is very firm. We'll have to freeze it for 48 hours.
  3. The day before cooking, we take it out in the freezer, place it in a bowl (it oozes a lot of water) and keep it in the fridge until the next day.
  4. Fill a large pot with water, pinch of salt and 2 bay leaves and place over medium high heat.
  5. Once it starts to boil, we have to "scare the octopus" before leaving it in the water. This technique consists of taking the octopus by the head and introducing it and removing it from the boiling water 3 times. This will help to keep the meat very firm and prevent the skin from falling off during cooking.
  6. After the last "scare", leave the octopus in the water and cook for 25-30 minutes. We'll prick it once in a while to see if it's tender.
  7. Once cooked, remove from heat and let stand in water for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the pot, place in a bowl and let cool completely.
Cook the prawns.
  1. Fill a large bowl with water and add 4 tablespoons of salt.
  2. Dissolve well and add a lot of ice.
  3. On the other hand, fill a large pot with water and place it on high heat.
  4. Once the water comes to the boil, add all the prawns at once. The boiling will be cut, but it's okay.
  5. Cook about 1- 1 ½ minutes, you will notice that the prawns change color.
  6. At that moment, take out the prawns with a slotted spoon and put them in the bowl with ice.
  7. Leave submerged for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove, drain well and set aside.
Cook the mussels.
  1. Discard all those with broken shells and clean the mussels. Remove beards and other crustaceans that may have adhered to the shell.
  2. Wash very well under cold water.
  3. Prepare a large pot and fill with a little more than a finger of water.
  4. Add the mussels together with a bay leaf and cover the pot.
  5. Place at medium high heat and let it boil. Once at this point, cook for 7-8 minutes, all the shells should be opened.
  6. Remove from heat, drain and leave to cool.
Make the salpicón.
  1. Wash all the vegetables and cut into small squares.
  2. Place them in a big bowl.
  3. Peel the prawns and cut in half, place in the bowl.
  4. Remove the shells from the mussels and put them in the bowl.
  5. Finally, cut the octopus into slices and add with the rest of the ingredients.
Make the vinaigrette.
  1. In a jar pour the oil together with the vinegar, salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Cover and shake with force to favor that it mixes well.
  3. Pour this one over the salpicón and mix.
  4. Cover with film and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
  5. Serve in a wide serving dish or individual bowls.

If you want to get the most amazing salpicón de marisco, don´t forget:

  • The octopus can be used fresh, frozen or cooked. If we buy it fresh, we must proceed to make it as specified in the recipe. If you have more than enough, you can freeze it once it is cooked in a zip bag. An octopus frozen, you only have to unfreeze the day before and cook it. But, if you don’t want to make it so complicated, you can always buy it already cooked.
  • The cooking time of the octopus will always depend on the size of the octopus.
  • Shrimps or prawns can be bought fresh, frozen or cooked. We’ll proceed in the same way as I was telling you about with the octopus.
  • It is very important that, so that our prawns are left with the hard meat, follow the steps of the process. Cook in boiling water and cut off cooking with ice water. If you add the prawns to the water with ice, notice that it gets hot, add more ice.
  • The same thing happens with mussels, we can buy them raw or cooked. We leave this to your choice, but you know that we always recommend you to do the whole process at home to control well the amount of salt and cooking point.
  • The octopus is traditionally cut with scissors, not with a knife. But if the kitchen scissors you have at home don’t cut very well, it’s best to use the knife to avoid destroying it.
  • All vegetables are optional, although we recommend you not to omit any because the result is exceptional.
  • The tomatoes must be of very good quality, Raf or Tigre, with very hard meat and very good taste.
  • Some people usually add crab surimi or hard-boiled egg, in our case we prefer to omit them, but feel free to add it if you wish.
  • The best thing to do is to eat very fresh this salpicón de marisco, but at room temperature it is also a delight.

Take note of our recipe for salpicón de marisco because we promise you that it will be your favorite tapa for the summer. In fact, it is perfect to accompany it with a good homemade gazpacho, pescaíto frito or some of our croquette recipes and a good white wine..

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