Fish and all types of seafood are a large part of the traditional Spanish diet. Because the Iberian peninsula is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Spain enjoys miles of coastline, and even today has many quaint fishing villages.
Seafood salads are a common summer first course in Spain, and are simple to prepare. Typically, Spanish seafood salad contains shrimp, mussels and octopus, as well as sweet peppers, onions and tomato. Every family adds their own toque or "touch" with other ingredients, such as corn or olives. This version comes from our friend, Jose who adds a "secret" ingredient - chopped mint leaves, just before serving.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 1 lb (500 gr) large shrimp, raw, shell on
- 18-24 raw mussels in shell
- 1/2 lb (250 gr) mock crab
- 1/2 lb (250 gr) monkfish
- 1/2 lb (250 gr) cooked octopus
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 bunch (8-10) green onions
- 7-8 oz (200-250 gr) canned corn, drained
- 4 oz (120 gr) pitted green olives
- 2 tomatoes, ripe but firm
- 2-3 sprigs fresh mint
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
NOTE: Use the quantities listed above are a general guide. Use more or less shrimp, mussels or crab - or substitute small squid (calamari), according to your taste. Every Spanish family prepares dishes such as this one differently.
First, steam the shrimp and mussels. Rinse shrimp and mussels under cold running water and allow to drain. Pour water into a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Place a steamer in bottom of pot and steam the mussels until cooked. Mussels will open when done. Throw away any mussels that do not open. Using the same water, steam the shrimp. Remove shrimp and drain.
Steam or broil the monkfish. Allow to cool, then cut into 1-inch pieces, and refrigerate. (If monkfish is not available, substitute any other white fish that is solid and will not fall apart when the salad is tossed.)
When shrimp and mussels have cooled, peel shrimp. Remove mussels from the shells. Discard shells. Refrigerate shrimp and mussels.
Cut mock crab and cooked octopus into bite-sized pieces.
Prepare vegetables: De-stem and de-seed the peppers, removing the white membranes. Slice lengthwise into long strips. Cut white portion of green onions very thin.
Drain corn and olives. Cut tomatoes into bit-size pieces. Remove mint leaves from stalks. Finely chop leaves.
Place all ingredients except mint in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, vinegar and salt. Adjust to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then sprinkle with chopped mint leaves, and toss again. Serve cold.
Salad will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
- Another version of Spanish Seafood Salad Recipe - Salpicon de Marisco.