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 Paella Rice


Paella is primarily all about rice. Choose the wrong rice and you won't be making a paella.

With literally hundreds of different rice varieties in the world, we guide you through the process of selecting the correct rice for your paella. It's easy with our step by step guide to paella rice.

CLICK ANY PICTURE ON THIS PAGE TO ENLARGE IT

TYPES OF RICE

Short grain paella rice and long grain rice Without going into endless technical details there are basically three types of rice as far as cooks are concerned.

Long grain rice (to the left in the picture) which is ideal for curries, short and medium grain rice (to the right in the picture) which are the ones to choose when cooking paella.

WHY USE PAELLA RICE
As with almost all national dishes the key ingredients originate from that country. It makes sense to use local ingredients and in times gone by there was no choice. The most commonly grown rice in Spain is medium grain paella type rice and that's why it's used in paellas.

When cooked, paella rice is relatively firm in the middle and softer on the outside. This distinguishes it from an Italian risotto where all of the rice grain is soft and creamy. Paella rice therefore has a soft outside but the firmer central part of the rice allows each grain of rice to be separate. That's the ideal.

WHICH TYPE OF PAELLA RICE IS BEST
There are many varieties of paella rice and not all are grown in Spain. But let's be clear, if you choose a medium grain paella rice then it will be well suited to making paella. Choosing between the various varieties of paella rice is complicated by lots of traditions and not an huge amount of fact. Personal preferences also play a large part in determining which rice is best.

Bomba paella rice If you select your paella rice from your local supermarket it will probably be Bahia paella rice from Spain and a very good rice it is. If you are looking for a paella rice which is the king of kings then Bomba paella rice is the choice of chefs where expense is no object. Grown in Valencia this rice is cultivated in cooler conditions compared to other paella rice, it also takes longer to mature.

Because of the the way Bomba rice is grown (i.e. cool), when cooked it absorbs more liquid compared to other paella rice. Whereas most paella rice absorbs twice their volume of water, Bomba rice will absorb three times its volume of water, a fact you need to remember when adding liquid to your paella.

This ability to absorb more liquid than other paella rice distinguishes Bomba rice. The liquid in a cooking paella contains all the flavour and the more flavour in the rice the better the paella.

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