Authentic Spanish Paella with Seafood
Heat the broth in a large pot. Stir in saffron.
Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil in 30 cm paella pan (or large shallow frying pan) over medium high heat and fry slightly the monk fish, the prawns and calamari rings 1-2 minutes. Do not fully cook. Remove and reserve.
Add remaining 2 tbsp of oil, and fry the red pepper, followed by the diced tomato adding the garlic/parsley and sweet paprika, stirring everything together. Reduce the heat and add the rice stirring it to get it slightly fried. It helps to avoid stickiness in the rice.
Pour in the hot broth and boil for 3 minutes, stirring rice and rotating pan occasionally. Add all reserved fish and seafood distributing it into the paella pan. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Do not stir after this point. Lower the heat, continue to simmer until rice absorbs the liquid (about 14 min). Add extra liquid if needed.
Once the paella is done and all the liquid has evaporated, let it stand for a few more minutes and then it’s ready to enjoy.
If you love to put your cooking skills to the test, mastering a Spanish paella is an absolute must. Try this version, loaded with an assortment of seafood, traditional spices like saffron and sweet paprika, and specialty Parboiled Paella Rice.
Starting with the tastes and aroma of a typical Spanish sofrito including red pepper, tomato, garlic and olive oil, this dish is made with a mix of everything to pique a foodie’s interest from meaty monk fish and calamari rings to succulent mussels and prawns. Follow our step by step instructions to making your own paella at home and with a little practice and some tips for making an authentic paella, your dish will be perfecto.
One of the most common questions surrounding this traditional rice dish is, what is typically in paella? While there might be some debate about what a Spanish paella contains, it’s true that this rice dish is quite delicious with a wide variety of ingredients from beef to chicken, vegetables or loaded with seafood. Discover some of the most commonly enjoyed varieties that all have one essential ingredient in common — delicious paella rice.
Paella Valenciana is often considered the most authentic version, given that this rice dish is said to have originated in the region of Valencia, Spain. With its humble beginnings, this dish made with arroz bomba or Short Grain Valencia Rice was meant to be a compilation of items to use up leftovers and still includes beans, tomatoes, artichoke, peas and meat from rabbit, duck or chicken.
Many modern paellas still include chicken, specifically chicken thighs or other more flavor pieces. In fact, some chefs say that browning the bone-in chicken thighs in oil before beginning the sofrito adds a wonderfully savory base.
Nowadays, many paellas that include both chicken and seafood are considered to be paella mixta, or mixed paella. And, the combination of spices, vegetables, chicken and rice is said to be the influence for arroz con pollo, or chicken and rice recipes in Spain and throughout Latin America.
The best part about using a wide selection of sea products is that you can always swap out any ingredients you’re not a fan of from the recipe. The good news is, the same applies if you are looking for a meatless option. Keep the saffron, garlic and veggie-friendly components to conserve the Spanish flavors but replace meat with your favorite greens. Who would imagine a Vegetarian Paella could be such a hit!
While a seafood paella might sound intimidating at first, if you’d like to start small, make a simple shrimp paella and work your way up to adding in more items. For even more authentic results, try making your own homemade seafood broth or stock using whole shrimp shells.
While there are many varieties of Spanish paella, there can only be one that truly steals the show in terms of presentation and global popularity — paella de marisco, or seafood paella. It is certainly the most sought after nowadays all around the world as one of the most traditional dishes including a wide array of seafood from fish, shrimp, squid, mussels, and clams.
Historically, this dish was a humble rice meal to use up leftover vegetables from the fields such as beans, tomatoes, peas and meat from rabbit, snails or chicken, however it has since risen in society to be a sought after gastronomic specialty with the inclusion of seafood from the coast.
While you may not be able to travel to the Mediterranean cities of Valencia or Alicante every time to enjoy a freshly made rice dish, you can certainly follow our recipe to make your own at home with the help of Mahatma® Rice.
The Spanish use a special tool called a paellera, or paella pan, however if you don’t have one available, use a skillet that is 30 cm across that serves four people. And, no matter what mix-ins you choose from the varieties listed above, the most important ingredient for your Spanish paella is the rice! The average proportion of rice to broth is approximately 1 part rice to 3.5 parts liquid.
Want to make a paella for four? Then, you’ll need 2 cups of rice and 7 cups (about 1.5 liters) of broth, it’s that simple! Now that you know the basic proportions, you can play around with the amounts, whether you want more or less rice and adjust the cooking time to get the rice just how you like it.