Paella's Rice; An Elitist's Endeavor

By its very nature, Paella is a rice dish, which begs the question: Which rice is the correct rice to use in Paella? Well now, depending on who you ask, you will get different answers. But, I reckon there are three general rules to choosing your Paella's perfect rice:
  1. Never use long grain rice. Why? Because Spaniards say so (although I often use it if I don't have anything else, and it works just fine).


  2. Medium grain rice is ideal. A medium grain rice (such as Goya) is a great choice for any Paella because it absorbs liquid very well, thereby absorbing the wonderful flavors of the Paella with ease.


  3. Short grain rice also works very well. In fact, most Paella people prefer short grain rice (like Bomba, which also absorbs flavor well, if not better than medium grain rice). But my hang-up with this rice is that, although it performs well, it looks more like risotto than rice. Thus, your Paella will look stunted, rounded, and immature.
My Bottom Line: If you get too worked up over which rice to use, you will lose the spontaneity of a sun-filled afternoon under the trees . . . so don't worry about it. Just remember that the rice you use should be able to absorb lots of flavorful liquid, while at the same time not turning to mush.

4 comments:

  1. Which rice will best soak up soy sauce that has been added to the paella?

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  2. I agree, never use long grain rice - it just doesn't work as well.
    You can use risotto or arborio rice if you have to - though a tip is to gently coat it in warm oil prior to using it for a paella as this prevents it from soaking up too much zuco and turning to mush.
    SOY SAUCE? Someone is taking the piss.

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  3. Right - not a drop of soy in paella! I have used a valencia and it worked very well. But notice that I am still here looking to make sure. I hope I can find bomba which has been repeated over and over in my search. This would be the correct rice to use.

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