Unlock the secret to authentic, flavourful seafood paella.
If you’re intrigued by this traditional dish but have been too scared to try your hand at making it, now is the perfect chance to learn from Argentinian-born Lola who is famous for impressing punters at South Melbourne market with her incredible food.
This is one dish definitely worth adding to your repertoire. Pair it with this super easy sangria recipe. Lazy Sundays sorted.
- Wolstead Steeltek Stockpot 12L
- Wolstead Steeltek Saucepan (medium and large from the set)
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- A pair of tongs
- Wooden spoon
- Freezer-safe preserving jars or reusable food bags
- Garcima paella pan
- Three medium mixing bowls
- Large jug
- Cocktail stirrer
- Wide cocktail glasses
For the fish stock
- 1kg fish spines
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium leek
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 onion
- 1 bay leaf
- Thyme, to taste
- Ground pepper, to taste
- 6 tbsp oil
For the paella
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 raw prawns per person
- 1-2 mussels per person
- 1 calamari or squid, cut into rings
- 1 chorizo, mildly cut into wheels
- 1 chicken breast, sliced into bite-sized cubes
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 4 Roma tomatoes, grated
- ½ red capsicum
- ½ green capsicum
- 600g Calasparra rice
- 1.2L fish stock
- 6 saffron sticks
- A pinch of saffron powder
- A pinch of salt
For the sangria
- 1 red wine bottle
- ½ apple
- ½ orange
- A couple strawberries
- Cinnamon stick
- 200ml Fanta orange
- 200ml Fanta lemon
- 3 bottle cups of Cointreau
To make the fish broth
- In a big pot, heat the oil. Add the spines and all the fish and seal them in hot oil. Once sealed, take them out and set them aside in a big bowl.
- In the same oil, fry the vegetables until golden brown and caramelised.
- Re-add the spines and fish, bay leaf, thyme, ground pepper and parsley.
- Pour the water over the top.
- Cook, simmering for about 40 minutes (never more than 45 minutes due to fish ammonia).
- While cooking, remove the white skin that will form on the surface as it will give the stock a bad taste.
- Once cooked, drain the mixture and pass it through a fine sieve or muslin cloth.
- Once cooled, transfer the stock into different jars or bags to freeze in easy-to-use portions.
- When using, reheat the broth in a pot and taste it before adding to your dish, just to check if it’s still good.
To cook the paella
- Place all meats and seafood in the paella pan with the oil. Cook them for 2 minutes to coat the pan with all flavours as of the sea and earth. Remove prawns and mussels.
- Make a sofrito (sweat) with all the vegetables and saffron, then add rice. Combine all ingredients. Add in the broth, salt, and saffron powder, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
- Place the seafood back on top of the rice. At this stage, have a full stop at stirring. Let it cook for 5 more minutes to make the socarrat (crust).
- Garnish with lemon wedges, parsley chopped julienne, paprika sprinkle, and aioli (optional).
To prepare the sangria
- Cut the fruits into small dices then place them in a large jug.
- Add cinnamon, Contrieau, red wine, and soft drinks.
- Stir to mix all the ingredients.
- Serve cold with ice.
- For a really red-coloured fish broth, add crabs and other res crustaceans, frying them in hot oil in the beginning. When they are red in colour, pour in 3 tablespoons of brandy or similar liqueurs and flame them. Set them apart and grind them a little bit. Then continue from Step 1, adding the crustaceans at Step 3 with the other fish.
Good to know
Why do you need a paella pan?
- The pan used to make paella, also called paella, from which the dish got its name, is a flat, shallow, wide, and round pan with slightly sloping sides. It is an important pan that lends authenticity to paella in taste, texture, and serving. The shape ensures that the rice cooks evenly in one layer. Experts say the best paella pan should be made of carbon steel so it heats fast but won’t retain too much heat, allowing for rice to cook and get a nice crust without burning. Though you may substitute a stainless steel or aluminum skillet, cast-iron and non-stick pans are highly discouraged.
How to select the right rice for paella
- While there are many types of rice on the market, you can’t simply use any to make paella. Bomba rice which is unique in Spain is the best to use and it can be bought in specialty shops or by mail. However, it won’t be cheap. So if you want something more accessible and inexpensive, you may use short-grain rice like arborio—a rice used to make risotto—as they absorb about three times more liquid than regular rice, rendering more flavour to your paella.