VIDEO| Bring Spain to you with easy paella at home

Photos by Shoji Kudaka
Photos by Shoji Kudaka

VIDEO| Bring Spain to you with easy paella at home

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Japan

On a day in mid-October, I tried cooking paella, a Spanish dish for the first time. Several months back, I had tried ajillo and it went pretty well. So, I decided to give Spanish cuisine another go, hoping for a short gastronomical getaway from the ordinary.

I was aware of paella's popularity in the world but was definitely surprised just how many recipes were available online. Many of the recipe photos featured colorful ingredients and fresh clams, shrimp and other delicious seafood, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time prepping for my meal. Fortunately, I found this recipe using frozen mixed seafood— perfect for a lazy chef like me!

 

I easily found every ingredient I needed down to the saffron at my local grocery store. The cooking itself took about an hour without any problems. The recipe required a pan with a lid, but since I didn’t have a lid, I made one out of aluminum foil.

As soon as the ingredients started to hit the pan, the aroma had me looking forward to a great meal. Once the time is up, I was ready to take the lid off and dig in straight out of the pan.

I had seen paella served up in a huge pan and people share the food. This style probably serves to make the dish sociable. But in my case, I just couldn’t wait to try the food.

The taste easily exceeded my expectation. The cooked rice did a great job of absorbing the seafood's savor. And it is well balanced with the taste of lemon and parsley. Slices of bell peppers added a nice accent of textures.

In fact, it turned out to be one of the best dishes that I cooked on my own and it took me less than 10 minutes to finish the panful of food!

Later, I learned that I’d just missed World Paella Day on Sept. 20. This day, according to the World Paella Day Cup organization, is dedicated to “the most universal plate of Spanish gastronomy.” The organization hosts cooking competition events in search of the best paella chef in the world.

Though the recipe I tried was simpler in comparison to what the Paella Cup contestants bring to the table, my paella day was just as special.

 

Ingredients

Uncooked rice (180 cc)

Onion (1/2 piece)

Frozen mixed seafood (150 g)

Garlic (2 pieces)

Bell peppers (sliced, as much as you please)

Parsley or Italian parsley (as much as you please)

Olive oil (30 ml)

White wine of sake (30 ml)

Salt and pepper (as much as you please)

Water (300 cc)

Tomato sauce (50 cc)

Saffron (as much as you please)

 

Recipe

1 Pour olive oil into a pan and fry chopped garlic first, to be followed by chopped onion, and frozen mixed seafood.

2 Once the seafood is cooked, take it out and put it on a separate plate. The juice extracted from the seafood will be used in the next step.

3 Fry uncooked rice in the frying pan. Once the rice becomes transparent, put in white wine (or sake), salt, pepper, water, and tomato sauce. Mix them gently.

4 Cover the frying pan with aluminum foil and cook it over medium heat. Once vapor comes out, change it to low heat and cook for 10 minutes.

5 Take the cover off and put the seafood and sliced bell peppers on top of the rice. Cover the frying pan with the aluminum foil again and cook it over low heat for another 10 minutes.

6 Once the rice is cooked, turn heat off and leave the cooked rice covered for a few minutes.

7 Top with sliced lemon and parsley. Buen provecho or いただきます(Bon appetite)!

Based on a recipe by cookpad.

 

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