Chefs' Recipes

Brae's barbecued octopus with lemon, broad beans and their leaves

A seafood dish that sings with spring.

By Dan Hunter
  • 35 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking (plus marinating)
  • Serves 8
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"Spring equals broad beans for me," says Hunter. "Every year at Brae we try and include them in different ways. This dish pairs the small double podded ones and also their leaves, which are often overlooked, with char-grilled octopus and lemons – simple, with a strong voice of the season." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the octopus.


  • 2 small-medium octopuses, cleaned and tentacles separated
  • 50 gm caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds removed
  • Paprika, to season
  • 700 gm podded broad beans (2.5kg unpodded)
  • Broad beans leaves and flowers (optional), shiso, flat-leaf parsley and mint, to serve
Octopus marinade
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1¼ tbsp Forum chardonnay vinegar (see note)
  • 1¼ tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp white miso paste
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated on a microplane
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • 1
    Pat octopus tentacles dry with paper towels. Combine marinade ingredients and 1 tsp salt and coat octopus liberally. Refrigerate to marinate (overnight).
  • 2
    Combine sugar and 300ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar, then add lemon, reduce heat to low and cook until syrup just covers lemon and lemon is very soft and translucent (30-40 minutes). Cool in syrup.
  • 3
    Blanch broad beans until tender (20-30 seconds). Drain, refresh, drain again and peel skins. Warm before serving.
  • 4
    For vinaigrette, combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until emulsified.
  • 5
    Burn down coals on a charcoal barbecue until flames die down (high heat). Thread tentacles onto bamboo skewers to keep them straight while grilling, then grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and just cooked (2-3 minutes; be careful not
    to overcook – octopus can become tough). Season to taste with salt and slice lengthways along one side of tentacles to give it a butterflied appearance.
  • 6
    Remove lemon slices from syrup, season to taste with salt and dust with paprika. Toss broad beans, lemon, leaves, flowers, shiso, parsley, vinaigrette and octopus in a large bowl and serve.


Forum chardonnay vinegar is available from select delicatessens. Broad bean leaves are available from select farmers' markets. Wine suggestion: 2015 Bindi Quartz chardonnay from the Macedon Ranges or 2011 Lethbridge Allegra chardonnay from Moorabool Valley, Victoria. Wine suggestion by Tim Brewer.