I can’t say that I’ve been to a lot of places in Spain; I’ve only ever visited twice and both times I went to Barcelona. On each visit, I was interested in trying their paella, the infamous local Spanish rice dish.
The dish originates from Valencia where the dish, Paella Valenciana, is known for filled with chicken, rabbit, vegetables and spices.
Source: Café Mexicali
I made a similar seafood dish before with my rendition of the traditional Filipino squid dish and I was starting to warm up to the idea of a seafood rice dish. I had bought a box of paella rice from my local Sainsbury and wanted to try my hand at making paella de marisco, simply put: seafood paella.
Source: Peque Recetas
I do admit that when it comes to cooking meals, I’m not an expert and sometimes need to try dishes a few times before I get it right. I’ve been baking since I was 13, but I’d only been cooking main courses in the last few years. When I was in Hong Kong, we had a domestic helper who would cook our meals. I had to learn since living in Edinburgh to cook myself and in the past few years, I wanted to try my hand at recreating Chinese dishes I missed. I also wanted to cook for the OH so I could introduce him to the world of Chinese cuisine. Other times, I want to try certain dishes from other countries and paella was one of them.
I had to attempt the paella dish twice before I got it right. I thought it was quite simple, but later realised I had got the steps in the wrong order so ended up with a risotto like dish. Having discussed with the OH (a chef by profession) where I went wrong with my first attempt, I’ve now got the recipe down pat for you to try your hand at!
Paella de Marisco
3 cups of paella rice
400g mixed seafood (or choose what type of seafood you’d like in your paella dish. I bought a frozen bag of mixed seafood)
650ml stock (I used one vegetable stock cube with 650ml water)
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
Mixed herbs or parsley (optional)
1. Chop the onion into thin slices
2. Now finely chop the garlic
3. In a pan, add a bit of oil and add the garlic. Stir for a minute to flavour the oil.
4. Keeping the heat to low, add the onion.
Unfortunately I let the garic cook for too long so it got brown quickly.
5. Now add the paella rice. paprika and turmeric.
6. Stir the ingredients well until the paella rice becomes opaque in colour.
7. Measure the correct amount of water and add the stock cube.
8. Add the stock to the pan.
9. Give the pan a quick stir to ensure all ingredients are well mixed, then cover the pan and let to simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
Do not at any point stir the rice once it’s been covered – this will result in your rice turning into a risotto-like rather than individual grains of boiled rice.
10. Once the 10 minutes is up, lift the lid. Your rice should look dried out and devoid of moisture but don’t worry, your rice will not be stuck to the pan. Sprinkle the seafood generously to the top of the rice, again without stirring the rice.
Leave the pan covered for 5 minutes, then turn the heat off and let the pan sit for another 5 minutes.
11. Lift the lid off the pan to check that the seafood is cooked. If it isn’t, let the seafood cook for a little while longer. I used cooked seafood, so I only needed to make sure it was well heated. If it is, mix the seafood and rice together.
Now your seafood paella is ready to be served!
You can also sprinkle some chopped parsley or mixed herbs for decoration on top of your served dish, but otherwise it’s quite a flavourful dish that additional seasoning isn’t necessary.
Let me know what your favourite paella dish is! Have you got your own special paella recipe that you’d like to share? If you do attempt this dish, don’t forget to share photos of your finished dish and any suggestions on how you’ve modified the recipe!