Paella with squid ink added for that striking black color contrasting with the colorful juicy seafood and a pleasant briny taste to the rice.
A small jar of squid ink that my husband brought home few months ago sure had been put into good use. I’ve made squid-ink pasta with them and they were both so delicious. Now, this is another dish that we love so much, squid ink seafood paella.
What is squid ink seafood paella?
Also known as Arroz Negro or black paella, it is a popular Spanish dish that is made with rice, seafood, and squid ink. The dish originated in Valencia, Spain and is typically made with short-grain rice, such as bomba or arborio, that is cooked in a large, shallow pan called a paellera. The squid ink contributes to that black color and the briny taste to the rice.
Can I make paella without paella pan?
Ideally, it’s best if you have the paella pan or known as paellera. The special pan is preferred because the large surface area of the paella pan allows for a thin, even layer of rice and other ingredients, which is important for developing the socarrat, a layer of crispy, caramelized rice that forms on the bottom of the pan. But to answer the question, yes you can make paella without the paella pan. I use the widest flattest pan I have at home, which is my cast-iron pan.
Did you make this squid ink seafood paella recipe?
I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag it to show me what you’ve made. Simply tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday on Instagram and I’ll be sure to stop by and take a peek for real!
Easy Squid Ink Seafood Paella / Arroz Negro / Black Paella
- 1 small onion peeled
- 1 large tomato
- 8 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 large red bell pepper seeded
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves
- Parsley leaves
- Tomato seeded and diced
- Lemon wedges
- Place the clam juice, water, squid ink and saffron in a small sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil and then lower the heat to let it cook for another 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to let the saffron threads infuse the liquid
- Place the ingredient for sofrito in a food processor and process until smooth.
Cook the rice:
- Preheat a large paella pan or if you don't have one like me, I just use cast-iron skillet. Add cooking oil. Add the sofrito and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the smoked paprika, saffron, pinch of salt and cook for another minute.
- Add the rice and stir to combine. Add the clam juice mixture, into the pan. Spread the rice evenly and thinly on the surface of the pan. Bring the broth to a boil and then lower the heat to maintain a gentle steady simmer. The rice will gradually absorb the broth and try not to disturb the rice while cooking, this will take about 15 minutes or so and at the same time, the crust (socarrat) will form at the bottom.
- Arrange the mussels pieces on top of the rice and let them cook again for another 5 minutes. If the rice is cooked but the mussels are still not cooked through, cover the pan with aluminum foil and lower the heat and let it continue to cook until the mussels are cooked through. The cooked mussels will open up and discard the ones that aren't.
- While the paella is cooking, let's sear the scallops. Pat them really dry on both sides with absorbent paper towel.
Sear some scallops while the rice is cooking:
- Preheat another non-stick pan with 1 Tbsp of oil. When the pan is hot enough, gently place the scallops about 1 inch apart, season with a bit of salt and let them sear about 2-3 minutes on each sides. Remove from the pan and arrange on top of the cooked paella.
Back to the rice:
- At this point, the rice should be cooked through and the rice at the bottom of the pan should have some short of caramelization or stickiness to the pan. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Add some fresh parsley leaves and fresh diced tomatoes for color contrast. Serve with lemon wedges if you wish