Stewed Broad Beans with Octopus and an Oriental Twist
This week, I present a traditional recipe from northern Spain. A delectable stew renowned in the Asturias region called “ Fabes con Pulpo”. But this time, I've given an umami essence by simmering the fava beans with Kombu seaweed, Nori, and an additional texture with the inclusion of wood ear mushrooms.
Fava beans hold a significant place in Spanish cuisine, featuring in numerous recipes such as the iconic Spanish dishes: “Fabada", "Fabes con Almejas", "Fabes con Jabali", "Pote Asturiano", or "Fabes con Pulpo” as showcased today.
Find out the Beans with Clams recipe HERE
So, I invite you to join me in crafting this traditional Asturian recipe, where the fusion of the delightful sea flavour of octopus and the earthy essence of beans takes centre stage.
But before we delve into the culinary adventure, allow me to share the potential origin of this humble yet exquisite dish.
What is the origin of the broad beans and octopus stew?
Faba beans with octopus trace their roots to the Llanes area, a coastal municipality in eastern Asturias. It is believed that this dish emerged in the late 19th century when local fishermen ingeniously incorporated the octopus head into their bean-based creations, making the most of surplus catches. Over time, this culinary gem gained popularity throughout the region, solidifying its status as a quintessential dish in Asturian restaurants.
Stewed Broad Beans with Octopus and Seaweed Recipe
- Preparation Time: 10 min (14 hours for bean soaking)
- Cooking Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Total Time: 16 hours 30 minutes
Ingredients 4 Serves
- 250g Fava beans
- 400g Cooked octopus - Learn How to cook Octopus, HERE
- 1 litre Fish stock (water optional)
- 1 cup of cooked octopus water
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 carrots
- Approximately 6 strands of saffron
- 3 tsp of extra virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp sweet smoked Paprika "Pimenton de la Vera", (optional spicy)
- 3 Nori seaweed sheets
- Approximately 3g of Kombu seaweed
- 5 Wood ear mushrooms
- Salt to taste
- Peel the onion, carrots, and garlic, and place them in a wide pot to prevent the fava beans from breaking during cooking.
- Add the soaked fava beans (previously soaked for 14 hours), and the bay leaves.
- Cover with fish stock, approximately four fingers above the level of the fava beans. Add the Kombu seaweed and a pinch of salt, then place the pot over high heat until it starts to boil.
- If you've cooked the octopus, add a cup of cooking liquid.
- Skim off any foam, then add a cup of cold water to halt the boiling. This method, known as "scaring" the fava beans, prevents them from losing their skins, ensuring they remain intact and tender.
- Reduce the heat to allow the fava beans to simmer, maintaining enough intensity to keep it boiling. The total cooking time is approximately 2 and a half hours, depending on the type of fava bean. Continue skimming if necessary.
- After 1 hour of cooking add the Nori seaweed and the black mushrooms cut in julienne, and then remove the carrots, onions, and garlic.
- Blend them with 3 tsp of extra virgin olive oil, a tablespoon of paprika, saffron, a tablespoon of semi-cooked fava beans and some cooking liquid and return it to the pot.
- Let it cook for another hour and a half until the fava beans are tender.
- Cut the pre-cooked octopus into one-centimetre slices and add them to the pot in the last five minutes of cooking.
- Adjust the salt if necessary, serve in a soup plate or bowl, and enjoy.
Thank you very much for reading this recipe; I hope you liked it and enjoy cooking and sharing it with your friends and family.
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