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Octopus Tacos with Homemade Beetroot Tortillas

Octopus Tacos with Homemade Beetroot Tortillas

One of my favorite things to eat in Mexico is the delicious seafood you often find in small places by the coast. There is something about the  spicy, fresh flavors of tacos, ceviches and tostadas with a cold beer that make it a pretty special meal. 

I know that cooking octopus might sound a bit scary for most people, but once you nail the cooking method, I promise you'll be making it over and over again. 

Here's the perfect recipe for fun dinner parties with friends over the weekend.

Ingredients (Makes 6 tacos approx.)

Beetroot Tortillas (Makes 12): 

  • 1 1/2 cups of Maseca
  • 1 cup of beetroot juice ( if you have a juicer you can do this easily by juicing 5-6 small beets, or by blending them with 2 cups of water and straining the juice)
  • 1/2 cup of water 
  • 1tsp kosher salt


  • 1 medium octopus ( buy it cleaned and fresh)
  • 2 tsp Kosher or Maldon salt.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • A handful of black peppercorns 

Octopus Sauce:

  • 1 fat garlic clove
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile
  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro
  • 1tbsp of agave nectar
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1tbsp of Irish butter
  • 1 tsp maldon salt
  • 1tsp black coarse pepper


  • 1 small Oaxaca cheese or any good melting cheese
  • 2 cups of fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes in wedges
  • Red onion thinly sliced 



1. To make the tortillas mix in a bowl Maseca, salt and beetroot juice use your hands to combine and kneed the ingredients, add the water little by little until you get a soft and moist dough that won't stick to your hands.

2. Make small balls of dough and use the tortilla press, once you press your masa down remove from the press and warm your tortillas over a hot non stick pan or comal, keep them warm in a basket or covered with a tea towel.

3. Check the recipe for cilantro tortillas for more tips on how to get the perfect tortillas.


1. Place your cleaned octopus in a deep sauce pan, cover with water, add salt and a bay leaf, black peppercorns, garlic clove and 1/2 onion.

2. Bring the octopus to a boil and cover it with a lid.

3. Simmer for another 30 minutes at least or until tender. (Tip: If you use a cast iron pot you get better results)

4. Remove the octopus from the liquid and let it cool down in a bowl on the side, discard your liquid. Once your octopus is ready cut the tentacles in diagonal small chunks, discard the rest. 

Octopus Marinade: 

1. In a food processor make your marinade by adding the garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, agave nectar, lime juice, olive oil, salt and a black pepper, mix.

2. Add your cut octopus into a bowl with the marinade, mix well with a spoon, cover with saran wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.


1. Heat up a frying pan with a tbsp of butter on high heat, once your butter melts add your marinated octopus and sauté until the octopus browns a little bit.

2. Turn the flame off and add another 1/2 lime juice, and fresh roughly chopped cilantro on top, and check the seasoning.

4. Warm up your tortillas over a comal. 

5. Add Oaxaca cheese on top of the mixture (until it melts). 

6. Spoon out some of your octopus mixture and serve with more fresh cilantro, red onion finely sliced lime wedges (on the side) and a cold cerveza. 


Note from contributor: Betroot tortillas inspired by the book TACOS by Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman.

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