If you enjoy testing your culinary skills in the kitchen, you must learn how to master an authentic Spanish paella recipe. For your first attempt, we recommend trying this traditional version with seafood, aromatic spices like saffron and sweet paprika, and our Medium Grain Steamed Rice: Perfect for Paella.
Cooking the Authentic Spanish Paella
This paella recipe perfectly combines the flavors and aromas typical of Spanish sofrito, which is prepared with ingredients such as red bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. In addition, it incorporates other highly prized elements for cooking enthusiasts and seafood lovers, such as monkfish, squid rings, succulent mussels, and shrimp. Follow our steps, practice a little, and with some expert tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious and truly authentic Spanish paella at home.
Spanish Paella Recipes
One of the most common questions about paella is, “What ingredients are used in the traditional recipe?” There is much debate surrounding this, but one thing is clear: this rice dish can include almost any type of food, from beef to chicken, vegetables, or even seafood. However, all these varieties have one star ingredient in common: the delicious paella rice.
Valencian paella is often considered the most authentic because it is believed to have originated in Valencia, a region located in southeastern Spain. This dish, traditionally made with bomba rice or short-grain Valencia rice, was used to repurpose leftovers from other meals. Its typical ingredients include beans (or garrofó), tomatoes, artichokes, green peas, and rabbit, duck, or chicken meat.
Many paella recipes today are prepared with chicken, specifically chicken thighs and other pieces that contribute great flavor. In fact, for many chefs, browning the bone-in chicken thighs before starting the sofrito is essential to achieve a base with an incredible extra kick of flavor.
Paellas that include both chicken and seafood are known as mixed paellas. It is also worth noting that this combination of spices, vegetables, chicken, and rice has led to the creation of other rice and chicken recipes that are typical in Spain and Latin America.
One of the great things about using a wide variety of seafood is that you can customize the dish to suit your taste. Additionally, this recipe allows you to prepare a vegetarian option by adding your favorite vegetables to the sofrito, saffron, and garlic (the ingredients that maintain the traditional flavors of paella). Who would have imagined that a vegetarian paella could be so delicious!
If it’s your first time preparing a seafood paella, you might feel a bit intimidated. If that’s the case, we recommend starting with a simpler paella with just shrimp and gradually adding more ingredients. To achieve an even more flavorful result, you can prepare your own homemade seafood broth using the shrimp shells.
Spanish Seafood Paella Recipe
Although there is a wide variety of Spanish paella recipes, one always wins in terms of presentation and worldwide popularity: seafood paella. Without a doubt, this dish prepared with fish, shrimp, squid, mussels, clams, and all kinds of seafood is one of the most acclaimed traditional dishes around the world.
Origin of Spanish Paella
As mentioned earlier, this dish originated as a humble way to eat rice and make use of leftovers, which could include beans, tomatoes, green peas, rabbit meat, snails, or chicken. However, by adding other ingredients like various types of seafood to the traditional recipe, it has become one of the most sought-after gastronomic specialties in restaurants and homes.
Where to Eat Spanish Paella
We understand that traveling to cities like Valencia or Alicante can be challenging. That’s why, following the steps of Arroz Mahatma®, you can enjoy a delicious freshly made rice dish that rivals the ones served in these Mediterranean cities.
To prepare paella in Spain, a paellera (or paella pan) is typically used. However, if you don’t have one, you can also use a 30cm-wide skillet and still enjoy a paella for four people. Regardless of the type of paella you plan to make, the most important ingredient is always the rice! The ideal ratio is approximately 1 part rice to 3.5 parts liquid.
Want to prepare a paella for four people? You’ll need 2 cups of rice and 7 cups (approximately 1.5 liters) of broth – it’s that simple! Once you know the basic ratio, you can adjust the quantities based on the amount you want to prepare and adjust the cooking time to achieve your preferred rice texture.
Remember, for the best results, use Ratingperson’s Medium Grain Steamed Rice: Perfect for Paella. With our guidance and your passion for cooking, you’ll be able to enjoy an unforgettable authentic Spanish paella in the comfort of your own home.