Paella Tips: What Type of Rice to Use

Paella Tips: What Type of Rice to Use


Paella is a famous Spanish dish that consists of rice, seafood, and meat. Traditionally it includes saffron, but it can also have vegetables, chicken skin, or fruit. 

Making paella can be a fun and rewarding experience, but there are a few things you need to know to make it correctly. One of the most critical aspects of paella is the rice you use. This blog post will discuss what type of rice to use for paella and why. We will also give you some tips on how to cook the rice properly so that your paella turns out perfect!

What Is Paella Made Of?

Paella is a Spanish rice dish that is very well known to both residents and tourists of Spain. It originated in Valencia, located on the Mediterranean coast of Spain; Valencia is the capital and largest city of the Valencian community, with about 3 million people. Thus paella is a traditional recipe from that area. The rice dish has become so popular that it is now considered a specialty in many places worldwide, specifically those with Spanish roots or influence, such as Argentina, Puerto Rico, and South America.

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What Are The Different Types Of Rice That Can Be Used For Paella?

1. Bomba Rice

Bomba rice is a medium-grain rice with a hard outside and softer inside; it absorbs sauces easily and holds up well. While bomba rice has many qualities that make it great for paella, there are some downsides. These include being difficult to find outside of Spain or Italy (the best place to buy bomba is in Spain) since this type of rice is usually imported.

2. Short-Grain Rice

Short-grain rice is the most common type of rice used for making paella. You can tell that it is short-grain rice based on how it looks. Short-grain rice will have a rough surface, whereas long-grain does not. This means there are no shiny spots and the grains are generally more compact. The best kind to use in paella is Spanish, or Valencia short-grain rice since this variety holds up better than others. It also has a higher starch content, making it chewier and stickier; this helps ensure the rice does not get soggy from the sauce.

3. Under-Ripe Rice

Under-ripe rice is short-grain rice harvested early in the season without fully ripening. It tends to have more starch and less bran, which makes it softer and more digestible. This can make it a great choice for those with gluten sensitivities or those who do not eat grains. It has fewer nutrients than other short-grain rice, making it the least preferred for paella.

How Do You Choose The Right Type Of Rice For Your Paella Recipe?

The rice you choose will influence your paella’s overall flavor and texture. Here are some things to think about when selecting:

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1. How Important Are Taste And Texture?

If you are looking for rice that is going to absorb flavors completely from the other ingredients, such as seafood, chicken, or vegetables, then short-grain Valencia rice is a great option. This type of rice has a high starch content which means it will absorb more sauce than other types of rice. Just be sure you follow our tips on cooking your rice correctly!

2. How Long Do You Have To Cook Your Rice?

You can usually find bomba or Valencia-style short-grain rice in supermarkets. However, you can also purchase it at specialty stores or online. Remember that this type of rice will vary in size (the longer the grain and the shorter the grain, the shorter its shelf life). You may need to look around before finding a good quality batch and a variety of sizes available. If you are cooking for yourself and don’t need a large amount of rice, then using quick-cooking (or “instant” type) short-grain rice will be fine. It will be ready in about 15 minutes.

The Best Way To Cook Paella Rice So That It’s Fluffy And Delicious

Depending on the rice you use to make paella, you may need to “rinse” it before you cook it. Rinsing rice means adding water several times, draining the water, and then repeating. 

Tips For Flavoring Your Paella Rice With Spices And Herbs

Paella rice is a perfect canvas for adding different flavors. You can marinate the meat (chicken, beef, or fish) with onions and spices before adding it to the rice; this will give your paella a wonderful flavor. If you want to use vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes, this is an ideal time to do it as they will be heated through while cooking. Paella also makes a great addition to many other dishes so try experimenting with different herbs and spices such as rosemary and thyme, oregano and garlic, or cumin and coriander.

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Serving Suggestions For A Perfect Paella Feast!

Paella is a Spanish dish served as an entrée or a side dish. You will find variations in serving it in different countries, such as paella with chicken instead of meat. Other everyday servings include rice and chicken, rice and shrimp, or paella with vegetables, meat, or seafood.

Tips For Serving Your Paella In The Ideal Portion Size

The correct portion size for serving paella is around 30-40 minutes before eating it. This will allow enough time for the rice to cook thoroughly and absorb most of the liquid from the sauce.


Paella is a traditional dish that has become very popular in the past decade. You can make this rice dish in your kitchen and enjoy it with family and friends. There are many types of paella rice; you can use short grain, long grain, or bomba. The amount of liquid you add will determine how your rice tastes, so are sure to follow our tips on how to cook the perfect paella rice! Try to use short-grain Valencia-style rice when cooking this dish, as it will have the most flavor.

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