Salpicón is a term used to refer to a combination of infredients mixed in a sort of salad. It literally means “hodgepodge” or “medley”. Seafood salad is, though, a combination of seafood (mussels, crab, shrimps, octopus and squids), but it usually contains other additional ingredients, such as fish (usually monkfish or hake), vegetables (onion, red and green peppers, pickles, olives…), and eggs, all dressed with a vinaigrette or simple vinegar and oil. Also, seafood salad could be served with mayonnaise or cocktail sauce. The recipe can vary to taste (you can use the ingredients you like the most), but those are the ingredients that usually compose the salad (although not all of them need to be part of the same salad). This dish is a very typical starter in Spain, especially in summer, as it is served cold.
This is an easy recipe to prepare seafood salad:
- water (for boiling)
- 300 g (10 oz) octopus/squid, boiled
- 300 g (10 oz) hake/monkfish tail
- 300 g (10 oz) shrimp, boiled
- 300 g (10 oz) crab meat/1 package imitation crab
- 2 bay leave
- 2-3 eggs, hard-boiled
- 300 g (10 oz) mussels
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 100 g (3-4 oz) pickles (optional)
- 100 g (3-4 oz) green olives, stuffed with anchovies or pitted
- white vinegar
- extra virgin Spanish olive oil
- In a large pan, pour enough water.
- Add the fresh octopus and boil it for 40-60 minutes, until it is tender (the time depends on the size of the octopus). Note that you can also use octopus that is already boiled. If you prefer, you could also use squid instead. In this case, boil the clean squids for 5-10 minutes. When the octopus or squids are cooked, set aside on a plate and let them cool.
- Meanwhile, in another pan, pour water and salt and cook the hake or monkfish tail (5-10 minutes). When the fish is ready, remove from the pan and set aside. Let it cool too.
- In the same pan (and water), cook the shrimps. Bring the water to a boil. Then add the shrimps (shells on) and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the shrimps from the pan and put them into a bowl with cold water (preferably with ice cubes)
- When the shrimps are cool enough, peel them and drain the remaining water. Set aside.
- If you are using fresh crabs (for example, brown crabs), in another pan, add water, the bay leaves and the crabs (if they are alive). Then, bring to a boil. If the crabs are not alive, add them when the water is already boiling. Cook the crabs for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size). Then remove them from the pan and put them into a plate. Cover them with a moist lid and let them cool.
- When the crabs are cool enough, open them and remove the flesh. Set the flesh aside.
- If you are using imitation crab meat, cut the meat into small cubes and set aside too.
- In a small pan, boil the eggs, for 15 minutes. Then remove from the pan and put them into a bowl with cold water. Once they are cool enough to handle with your bare hands, remove shells. Set aside.
- To open fresh mussels, pour 1 glass of water into a pan. Then add the mussels and bring to a boil. Cook them with the steam and when they are all open remove them from the pan. Set aside and let them cool.
- Slice the octopus or squids and cut the fish and shrimps into pieces.
- Rinse the red and green peppers and remove the seeds.
- Chop the peppers, onion and eggs into very small pieces and cut pickles in half (or smaller).
- In a serving bowl, pour the ingredients and the olives (drained).
- Add the octopus, fish, shrimps and mussels.
- Dress with white vinegar and olive oil (preferably 1 part of vinegar to 2 parts of oil)
- Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Mix well.
- Serve cold and with mayonnaise or cocktail sauce (optional).