The question of how to cook paella rice is a legitimate one when you look at the cooking of most other types of rice. In almost every dish the rice is cooked in a pan of water, either with or without taste or color. Once the rice is cooked, it is added to the rest of the dish. In the case of paella rice this is different! The fact that paella is a one-pan dish is an important one. This means that the entire meal, and so also the rice, is cooked in a single pan. A paella pan.
Everything in one pan out of poverty
The origin of this preparation method goes many centuries back in time. The predecessor of the present paella originated in the rice fields of Albufera, near Valencia Spain.
The laborers in those rice fields started using rice during lunch to get a nutritious meal on the table. The rice was filled with all they could find, from the meat of muskrats to garden snails.
Due to the poverty at the time, people were not able to cook with multiple pans, so everything was prepared in a large pan on a wood fire. This cooking method has always stayed that way, and for that, we should be grateful to the Valencians.
A mixture of aromas and flavors
Nowadays we know that preparing the entire paella in one pan is not only a practical thing to do; it also gives the dish a massive boost of extra flavor.
Paella rice is a type of rice that absorbs a large amount of moisture. Sometimes up to three times its weight. This is much more than basmati rice, for example.
Because of all the ingredients being fried in the paella pan and releasing their flavor, the paella rice absorbs all these tastes and gives the paella much more flavor.
You would never get this if you cooked the rice separately from the other ingredients.
5 steps to a great paella
If you want to cook a great paella, in which the paella rice and all flavors of the ingredients are optimally highlighted, it is best to stick to the following order during preparation:
- Fry all ingredients in the correct order in the paella pan.
- Add water or stock, depending on the variety of paella, and bring to a boil.
- Toss in the paella rice spread the ingredients and bring back to a boil.
- Let the paella rice, together with the other parts, boil until done in the paella pan until all the moisture has evaporated.
- Let the paella to rest for about five minutes.
How to make your own paella?
Would you like to make a delicious paella on your own? Then take a look at the Paella Recipes page elsewhere on this site. Here you’ll find the most delicious and authentic paella recipes for the most popular types of paella.