If you have ever been to Spain you must have eaten paella and if you are reading this article chances are that you loved it. Of course, you could make a list of the best paella restaurants in your city to repeat the experience but you will definitely miss one of the best parts of the paella, which is cooking it with your own hands. In this post you will learn how to make paella with seafood, and we will tell you all the secrets you need to become a paella master at home.
How to make paella: tools
Pan: the most basic object in this list, actually paella means pan in English so you can guess how important it is to cook it. No pan, no party. There are several types of pan made out of different materials and sizes, of course we recommend choosing a size depending on how much food we want to make but the tradition in Spain is to cook paella for large groups of people.
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Gas burner: the original way to make paella is using firewood but if that’s not a viable option for you can go for the gas burner. You will need a pressure regulator and a gas hose as well to be able to use it, both are easy to find in any hardware store.
A pan tripod: you will need it in order to hold the pan properly, especially if you are using a big one. We suggest you to get a foldable one so it doesn’t become a nuisance when you are not using it.
Slotted spoon: the easiest item on the list, you will use it to fry the seafood and the vegetables.
How to make paella: ingredients
To make paella for 4 people you will need:
≫ 400 g of round rice: don’t hesitate in buying a better quality rice even if it’s a bit more expensive, it’s definitely worth it because rice is the basic ingredient in the recipe.
≫ 800 ml of fish broth: you can buy it or you can get some fish heads from the fish shop so you can make your own broth.
≫ 2 medium sized cuttlefishes: or just a big one.
≫ 12 prawns.
≫ 6 Norway lobsters.
≫ 250 g of clams.
≫ 250 g of mussels.
≫ 150 g of green peas.
≫ 1 onion.
≫1 red pepper
≫ Olive Oil.
≫ 1 garlic clove
≫ 2 tomatoes
Of course if you don’t like a specific type of mollusk you can change it for another one depending on what you prefer, we give you the standard recipe but you can adapt it to your personal taste.
How to make paella: process
Now it’s when the magic begins, we will describe the process step by step so you can cook your own paella.
First, you put some olive oil in the pan and once it’s hot you add the seafood (prawns, clams and Norway lobsters that you should clean with water previously). When they start to get a golden colour we take them out.
Then you cook the sliced cuttlefish with the same method, you put it in the pan until it changes its colour and you take it out.
Now it’s time to chop the onion and the garlic into small pieces and the pepper into strips. You fry them all in the pan until it’s completely soft and you remove the pepper. You should also add the cuttlefish ink in order to get a proper fish flavor.
Add the grated tomatoes and keep stirring it until it’s totally mixed. Add the rice and mix slowly until it’s cooked. The idea is to make the rice get as much aroma and flavor as possible. A few minutes after you need to add the fish broth, salt and saffron.
Add the rest of the ingredients that we previously took out to the pan. Try to put them in an ordered way so the paella looks better. Increase the intensity of the fire until it starts boiling and once it does let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Take the pan out from the fire and wait 5 minutes before serving it. We encourage you to cut some lemon wedges and put around the paella to add some freshness to the dish.
Thoughts about how to make paella
As you could see it is not that difficult to make paella once you understand the process. It’s important that you use good quality products bought in local food markets in order to get the flavor that the original Spanish paella has. We recommend you to cook paella in special occasions and for large groups of people as they do in Spain. Take into account that this is a typical summer recipe so you will probably enjoy it more when it’s hot, but it’s so tasty that people can’t resist to eat it at anytime of the year. Enjoy your meal!