Paella is served as a main entree in the Philippines and is considered a special meal on chosen celebrations such as Christmas, New Year, Easter and fiestas. The Filipino Paella is usually mixed paella or seafood paella. It is a complex dish that entails several ingredients and multi-step procedure to prepare. The mixed paella recipe usually calls for seafood and shellfish such as fish, clams, mussels, crabs, shrimp and squid; meat such as pork and chicken; and vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet peppers and sweet peas.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon annatto powder (or 1 tablespoon annatto seeds in 3 tablespoons of oil, drained after 15 minutes; use only the oil)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup canned diced tomato (or 3 pieces super ripe tomatoes, chopped)
- 2-3 cups of shrimp stock, chilled* (See Notes below)
- 1 pound pork loin or 4 pieces chicken thighs
- 2 pieces chorizo or Spanish sausage, sliced thinly
- 3 pieces crabs, cleaned (optional)
- 1 pound clams, cleaned
- 1 pound mussels, cleaned
- 1 pound shrimp,cleaned
- 1/2 pound squid, sliced, tentacles removed
- 1 pound fish fillet of choice (cod, haddock), sliced
- 2 cups medium grain rice
- 1 small package of Spanish saffron (substitute with 2:1 parts paprika and turmeric)*
- 1 cup sweet peas
- 1 red / green sweet peppers, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon for garnishing, cut in wedges
- Heat oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onion for 3 minutes or until onion is translucent.
- Add annatto, tomato paste and canned tomato and stir to combine. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of shrimp stock and bring to a soft boil for about 2 minutes.
- Add pork or chicken and chorizo. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add crabs (if using), clams, mussels, shrimp, squid and fish. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until done.
- Remove the seafood and meat from the pan leaving the sauce.
- Add rice, chilled shrimp stock and saffron to the pan. Stir in the saffron. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Add water if necessary.*
- Add sweet peas and sweet peppers and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Put the meat and seafood back in the pan.
- Transfer to a serving plate and serve warm.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge.
* To make the shrimp broth: Cut the heads from the shrimp and boil it in water for 30-45 minutes.
* Chilling the shrimp broth is important especially in cooking the rice. Rice grains requires cold liquid to cook properly and to achieve the balanced texture needed for paella.
* Pre-cooked seafood packages are widely available in grocery stores in the US and definitely makes cooking paella easier and faster.
* Rice is very critical in paella. The rice must not be soggy. It should have a good texture on its own and have the flavors of the sauce incorporated well into it.
* Paprika is very expensive. You can substitute the color and flavor with 2 parts paprika and 1 part turmeric. You won't be able to duplicate the unique and special aroma that it partakes on the dish though.
* Paella can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen for up to a month in an airtight container.
* To reheat paella: Put in an oven safe dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Place a pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven to keep the paella moist and not dry while reheating it.