Skip to main content

Crunchy octopus bites (chicharrón de pulpo)

The octopus is boiled first to tenderize the meat. Then it´s marinated in a mix of spices or lime juice. The marinated octopus is fried or grilled until it becomes crispy.

The result is a dish with a unique combination of flavors and textures: the interior remains tender and juicy, while the exterior becomes crispy and crunchy.


1 octopus (about 2 lb)
2 lime (or 1 lemon, halved)
3 clv garlic (peeled)
1 t paprika (optional)
  salt (to taste)
  vegetable oil (for frying)


In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the lemon or lime halves, garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt. Add the octopus and boil until tender, usually around 45 minutes to an hour.

Once the octopus is cooked, remove it from the pot and let it cool. Cut it into bite-sized pieces.

In a bowl, mix the octopus pieces with salt and paprika. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

In a deep frying pan, heat enough oil to submerge the octopus pieces.

Carefully add the marinated octopus pieces to the hot oil. Fry until they turn crispy. 

Remove the crispy octopus pieces and drain them on paper towels. Serve immediately. 

Total time
1 hour, 35 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
4 servings


Serve as an appetizer or a snack, accompanied by various dipping sauces, such as mayonnaise-based sauces, spicy salsas or even just a simple wedge of lime. This crispy octopus could also be part of a salad or tacos, accompanied with avocado and fresh salsa.


Add 1 teaspon of chili powder to the paprika and salt mix for a bit of heat.


This dish is especially popular in coastal regions and places where seafood is abundant. It involves cooking octopus until it achieves a crispy texture, somewhat resembling the crunchiness of pork chicharrón (fried pork rinds).

Mexican food

savory snack, seafood
boil, marinate, fry
Mexican food recipes
Food in America