When it comes to Spanish cuisine that you must try (at least once in your life), seafood paella ranks highly on that list alongside things such as tapas and gazpacho. Boxer Sara from Spain vouches for it personally in today’s guide to making your very own seafood rice dish with paella pans from Spain. But first, a little background from Boxer Sara about paella:
“Paella” actually means “pan” in Valencian language. The Valencia region’s traditional food incorporates a variety of rices, all of which are known across the country. But the most recognised rice dish is what we know today as paella. The original paella even had snails in the recipe, but currently, seafood paella is the most popular paella available. Below, this is a traditional paella family recipe I have acquired from my mum and aunt:
For 1kg rice (approximately) –
1 big green pepper
1 big red pepper
3 parsley branches
3 minced garlic cloves
pinch of saffron
salt to taste
Fish stock or “fumet”— you can make this on your own with prawn heads, or buy it from the market
100g squid (chopped)
100g venus clams (preferably Chamelea gallina, or any other clams available)
6 scampi (Nephrops norvegicus)
- Clean the seafood i.e. chop the squid, cut off the heads for the prawns and peel them (optional).
- Chop and mince all the ingredients together.
- Stir-fry everything with a bit of olive oil (enough so the ingredients will not stick to the pan).
- My mum recommends to boil the mussels in the fish stock until they open and remove the flesh. If they don’t open, don’t use them in your paella (the same goes for the clams).
- Add the rice using a cup and stir-fry it all together until it is well mixed. This may take up to four minutes.
- Now you add the stock—two cups of stock for every cup of rice you’ve added.
- Mix again so that it is well distributed in the pan.
- Add the mussels and remove those that do not have meat inside the shells.
- Then, add the scampi on it as garnish. Once it starts boiling, lower the fire to the minimum and let it cook for around 30 minutes.
- The next step is dependent on your preference on rice. Spaniards like the rice a little tough, but in my house we like it soft. If the water has run out and the rice is still not fully cooked, place an aluminium foil or towel to cover the pan until it is fully cooked.
Now you have paella! We usually eat it from the same pan (no plates needed), but that is up to you as well. A refreshing jug of Sangría would go perfectly well with this dish, or you can also pair it with Manchego wine.
ShopandBox Boxer Sara’s choice of paella pans:
In Spain, the pans to make paella with (or any other pan with the same form) are called “Paellera”. The traditional pan that you can find in every Spanish household (be it Valencian or otherwise) is made from carbon steel—incidentally also the cheapest one available. This pan is usually the same one you can find in Carmencita’s Paella Kits—you can ShopandBox these from my Boxer page.
For a wide variety on paella pans, you can opt for this brand: Original Paella. Also, Bra is another well-known brand in Spain—their pans are used by Michelin-star chef Martin Berasategui. They have different styles of paella pans, and I can personally tell you that their pans are quite awesome, despite its heavier weight.
- Carbon Steel Paella Pan, Original Paella, EUR249, + Add To Wishlist
- Enameled Steel Paella Pan, Original Paella, EUR229, + Add To Wishlist
- Special Thickness Paella Pan, Original Paella, EUR895, + Add To Wishlist
- Stainless Steel Paella Pan, Original Paella, EUR1,949, + Add To Wishlist
- Efficient Paella Pan, Bra, EUR44.39, + Add To Wishlist
- Carmencita Paella Kit, EUR18.95, + Add To Wishlist
- Gastraval Seafood Paella Kit (2-pack), EUR24.90, + Add To Wishlist
- Carmencita Paella Box, EUR5.90, + Add To Wishlist
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