Introduction: Quick and Easy Seafood Paella

About: My name is Carlos Zoido and I'm an Industrial Engineer living in Madrid. I love design, art, music and computers...

This recipe is the product of many trial and error tests cooking rice "paella style". Although this recipe is for a shellfish rice that in Spain is called "a banda" rice It should be considered as a base guide for making other types of paella style rice dishes. You could substitute fish stock for vegetable stock or chicken stock and use meat or vegetables instead of prawns and squid.

This is a slightly simplified version of the traditional fish paella that leads to a delicious result with minimum effort.

Let's begin!

Step 1: Materials and Ingredients

You can use a paella pan or any other kind of pan that you have of about 30 cm (for two people).

This recipe is for two people, and you'll need following ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tomatoes grated
  • 1 squid diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 cup bomba rice
  • 2.5 cups fish stock
  • 0.15 grams saffron
  • 8 prawns (peeled and deveined)
  • salt to taste

You can use store bought fish stock if you want, choose the best you can buy because It is the base of the flavour of this kind of dishes. If you don't find arroz bomba you could use any other kind of short grain rice adjusting cooking times to your rice.

Step 2: Make the Sofrito

The sofrito is the fried combination of oil, garlic and tomatoes and is one of the bases of these kind of rice dishes in Spain. Follow this steps to make the sofrito:

  • Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add the garlic cloves minced or finely sliced. Let them cook for 1 minute.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until almost all water from the tomatoes has evaporated.

Step 3: Add Squid, Rice and Slightly Sautee

Now that you have your sofrito ready let's continue:

  • When almost all moisture from the tomatoes is gone add the squid and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add sweet paprika and mix everything for 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the paprika.
  • Add rice and sautee for 1 minute.

Now we are ready to add our fish stock.

Step 4: Add Stock and Let Cook for a Total of 18 Minutes

Now is time to add the fish stock. The best option is to have the stock already almost boiling but you could add it at room temperature.

  • Add stock.
  • Add saffron.
  • Bring to a boil over hight heat and let cook for 18 minutes total. First 5 minutes at hight heat, and remaining 13 minutes at low heat.
  • At minute 12 (6 minutes before ending) add prawns.

Now let's face the final step and for our paella...

Step 5: Let the Rice Rest and Enjoy!

It's very important to let the rice rest for a couple of minutes. With the heat off just let it at room temperature for 4 or 5 minutes so the rice finishes cooking with residual heat.

The rice should not be too soft or to hard. Adjust resting time to your personal preference.