The Studious Octopus (Pulpo Chancon) - Chef Recipe by Martin Morales
The Studious Octopus (Pulpo Chancon) - Chef Recipe by Martin Morales

The Studious Octopus (Pulpo Chancon) - Chef Recipe by Martin Morales


1 Tbs lime juice
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 small octopus (preferably frozen and defrosted)
120 ml chancaca syrup or yacon syrup, to serve
1 quantity of salsa criolla, to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Butter Bean Purée:

1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
2 Tbs amarillo chilli paste
1 tin of butter beans (about 235g drained weight)
70 g lucuma purée, or 1 heaped Tbsp lucuma powder mixed with 50 ml water


Put the lime juice, garlic and red onion in a large saucepan and add 3 litres of water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Use kitchen tongs to dip the octopus 3 times in the liquid, then submerge and release them into the water – the dipping will help the tentacles to curl up in a pleasing way.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the octopus for about 1 hour, or until tender, then remove, rinse and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make the butter bean purée. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the red onion and sauté for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the tomato and chilli paste and cook for 2–3 minutes until the tomato has softened and collapsed into the sauce. Add the butter beans and lucuma and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a food processor or blender and blitz to a coarse purée.

Heat a griddle pan until it is too hot to hold your hand over. Cut up the octopus, leaving the tentacles whole and the body cut to a similar thickness as the base of each tentacle. Griddle the octopus pieces for about 8 minutes, turning until crisp and richly brown all over. Divide the butter bean purée between 4 individual serving plates, then arrange equal portions of the octopus on top. Drizzle over the chancaca syrup and serve with the salsa criolla alongside.

Credits: This is an edited extract from Andina by Martin Morales published by Quadrille RRP $45 and is available in stores nationally.

Photo Credits: David Loftus.

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