A bowl of colourful seafood

Pickled mussels and octopus with XO aïoli

  • serves 4 as a starter
  • Easy

Love seafood? Let it shine in this medley of pickled mussels, octopus, fresh herbs, thinly sliced turnips and a quick homemade XO aïoli


This octopus recipe comes from Analiese Gregory’s book How Wild Things Are (£22, Hardie Grant). Read more about Tasmanian cuisine here.



  • mussels 20, cleaned
  • white wine vinegar 100ml
  • caster sugar 50g
  • octopus 150g, cleaned
  • chives ¼ a bunch, finely chopped
  • dill ¼ a bunch, finely chopped
  • turnips 2 small, thinly sliced
  • olive oil 2 tbsp


  • egg yolks 2
  • white wine vinegar 1 tbsp
  • lemon juice 1 tbsp
  • Dijon mustard 1 tbsp
  • garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • grapeseed oil 130ml
  • olive oil 130ml
  • XO sauce 40g


  • Step 1

    Wash the mussels, then steam until just opened. Tip into a bowl to collect the juices. Heat 150ml of water in a pan with the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Leave to cool a little until just warm, then pour over the mussels and chill. (Eat the mussels on the day of pickling, if you can. They do keep, but the pickle will continue to firm the mussels up over time.)

  • Step 2

    Fry or chargrill the octopus over a medium heat for 3 minutes or until just cooked, then slice thinly. In a bowl, combine the octopus, mussels, herbs, turnips and olive oil, then mix.

  • Step 3

    To make the aïoli, put the egg yolks, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and garlic in a blender. Blend until smooth then, with the blender running on low, pour in the two oils in very thin streams, allowing the aïoli to emulsify. Mix in the XO sauce and check for seasoning. Spoon some aïoli into the base of a large bowl. Top with the pickled seafood and herbs.

*This recipe is gluten free according to industry standards

More ways with mussels

Easy Mussels Recipe with 'Nduja


Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 648
  • Fat 60.5g
  • Saturates 8.2g
  • Carbs 7.9g
  • Sugars 5.3g
  • Fibre 1.9g
  • Protein 17.1g
  • Salt 1.2g