Call me “Sua Gu”! Seriously! I have not ate Paella (pronounce as pah/EH/yah) before until like a month ago. I am not a seafood lover. I don’t mind having them but I will not purposely order them. So every time I see a sizzling pan of yellowish rice topped with tons of seafood, I will just give that a miss. Until once fine day, my friend brought me to House @ Dempsey and tried their Squid Ink Paella, my virgin paella. And that marked the beginning of my love affair with Paella. I started on my research on Paella – what kind of rice, cooking method, basic/base ingredients (sofrito), etc
Paella is very different from Risotto and it’s a lot easier as compare to Risotto. Unlike risotto which requires a lot of stirring, you have to refrain from stirring for paella as you want as little starch release as possible (stirring will encourage releasing of starch). Traditional Paella uses Bomba Rice which I couldn’t get it in Singapore. Arborio rice can be use as substitute but refrain from using carnanoli rice as the latter is starchier.
Do not be tempted to add more water halfway during cooking even though the water seems to dry up. You would want a thin layer of slightly crispy rice and the paella to be drier instead of mushy.
Squid ink are available in either small tub or sachet. They are easily found in premium supermarket in Singapore or PH Delicatessen (Clementi Ave 3).
I charred the capsicum using fire torch before cooking for an aromatic burnt taste. You can omit this step for health reason.
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ Tablespoon Garlic
- 30g Yellow Onion (diced)
- 6 pcs cherry tomatoes (each piece quartered)
- 3 pieces Sun-dried Tomatoes (diced)
- 4 pcs of Kalamata Olives (diced)
- 30g Charred Yellow Capsicum (15g Sliced, 15g Diced)
- 30g Charred Red Capsicum (15g Sliced, 15g Diced)
- 30g Charred Green Capsicum (15g Sliced, 15g Diced)
- 100g Arborio Rice or Paella Rice (unwashed)
- 100ml Chicken Broth
- 100ml Water
- 20ml White Wine
- 1 Tablespoon Squid Ink
- Salt to taste (if necessary; some chicken broth are very salty; taste as you add)
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 4 pcs Langoustine (or any prawns)
- 10 pcs Clam in Shell
- 100g Squid (about 1 Medium size squid)
- 30g parmesan cheese (grated)
- Coriander leaves, for garnishing
- Heat the olive oil in a shallow frying pan over medium heat
- Add in garlic and onion. Fry until onion turns translucent, about 1 min
- Add in Sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, diced capsicum, olives and stir fry for another 1 min
- Add in rice and stir fry for another 2 mins
- Add in chicken broth, water, wine, squid ink, paprika, pepper and salt. Mix well and allow it to boil
- When boil, lower the heat to medium low and allow the rice to simmer gently in the broth for about 10 mins. Cover with lid
- After 10 mins, remove the lid and add in clams, squids, langoustine, sliced capsicum and continue to cook for another 10 mins.
- Remove the lid when done and sprinkle grated parmesan on top of the paella. Cover the lid for another 10 to 20 sec, until cheese melted.
- Remove the pan from the stove, top with coriander leaves and serve