The Differences Between Paella And Bomba Rice

The Differences Between Paella And Bomba Rice


Paella and bomba rice may seem identical to some, but a detailed examination of their ingredients demonstrates significant distinctions between the two. Bomba rice is a type of Italian rice that’s frequently used in risottos, while paella is a Spanish meal crafted from a mix of large cuttlefish segments, or at times, chicken, and saffron-infused broth combined with saffron-enhanced oil. Paella has a fluffy texture and can include virtually any seafood or poultry, in contrast to bomba rice which has a moist texture and typically does not contain meat or seafood.

If you’re looking for a delicious and exotic dish to add to your menu, you should consider paella or bomba rice. But what’s the difference between these two types of rice? 

What Is Paella Rice, And What Is Bomba Rice

Paella is Spanish rice commonly used in Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands dishes. Bomba rice, on the other hand, is a unique variety of Italian rice. Despite their differences in texture and location of origin, bomba and paella both offer an earthy flavor to their dishes. You can learn how to cook Paella with our Paella recipe. And if you’re interested in trying out some bomba rice for yourself, check out our Green Pea Risotto or Roasted Red Pepper Risotto recipes.

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Bomba rice is a kind of Italian long-grain rice called Calasparra rice. The Calasparra region is located in northeastern Spain, close to the French border. It is a farming area that produces a unique variety of long-grain rice with firmer and softer grains. The name “bomba” refers to how these grains look like the bombs used during World War II by the Fascists during WWII. Despite this somewhat ominous name, bomba rice has been grown in this part of Spain for centuries due to its ability to withstand high temperatures and intense sunlight without burning.

The Differences In Taste And Texture?

Bomba rice is slightly firmer than paella rice and is often used in risottos, as it makes the rice cook more quickly and evenly. Bomba rice contains a higher starch content than paella rice, making it a better risotto. Bomba rice is also quite gummy when cooked, which helps give dishes like risotto their unique texture. Like paella, bomba can be found in many forms, including whole-grain or parboiled bomba that has been processed to speed cooking time. 

How To Cook Each Type Of Rice?

Bomba rice is best cooked in Italian-style dishes like risotto or risotto-like Spanish dishes. You can also try it in seafood or poultry dishes. On the other hand, Paella is often cooked by itself as a grain – the main ingredients for paella are the seafood and the broth it is cooked in, which means that you can make paella with just about any kind of seafood or poultry that you would like. 

Paella rice and bomba rice are essentially the same things. But there are differences between them. Bomba rice is grown in Spain, making its texture firmer, but paella is often cooked with meat or seafood, making it more of a Spanish dish than a typical Italian one. If you like spicy dishes and/or saffron, then you should try cooking with bomba rice as well – just don’t forget that it has a firmer texture.

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Which One Is Better For Your Needs?

Besides being made differently, bomba rice and paella rice offer similar flavors. While the taste and texture of the dishes you can make with each type of rice are pretty identical, the difference is that some people prefer paella because it is usually paired with seafood or chicken. If you are having trouble deciding which is better for your needs, you should try them to see which one you like best. 

Which Rice Would You Prefer: Paella Or Bomba?

You can use different types of rice to make dishes like paella, risotto, and Spanish rice. If you are having difficulty deciding what type of rice to use, an excellent first step would be to look at the kind of dishes you plan on making. If you primarily make paella and risotto recipes, then paella is the best choice. Bomba is better suited for your needs if you mostly just cook with seafood and poultry since its texture is similar to paellas. In this case, regardless of your choice, both versions will work well in all types of meals.

Recipe Ideas Using Paella Or Bomba Rice

1. Paella

Paella is a typical Spanish rice dish that originated in Valencia, Spain. It contains about 1/4 cup of rice for two servings, and you can include just about any kind of seafood or poultry into your dish.

2. Paella With Boiled Eggs

This is a straightforward recipe for paella with boiled eggs. The most basic ingredients you need are broth, oil, rice, saffron petals, tomato sauce, and your choice of meat (chicken) or seafood (shrimp or calamari).

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3. Paella With Chicken And Seafood

In this recipe for paella with chicken and seafood, the rice should be cooked until it is half-cooked by adding chicken broth at intervals.

4. Paella with Shellfish and Sardines

In this recipe for paella with shellfish and sardines, the rice must be cooked until it is thoroughly cooked.

5. Paella With Lamb And Vegetables

This recipe uses lamb, potatoes, and bell pepper as the main ingredients for paella. The dish is simmered until done.

6. Paella With Chicken And Salted Squid

Paella is essentially a Spanish version of Italian risotto, which means that chicken can be added if you wish to turn your paella into a risotto dish. This recipe combines chicken with salted squid, which makes the dish salty while still being healthy at the same time.

7. Bomba Rice Salad

In this recipe for bomba rice salad, the rice is mixed with tomatoes, onion, and radishes. The crunchy texture of the vegetables balances well with the softness of the paella.

8. Paella With Sheared Duck

This recipe combines duck, potatoes, and parsley. You can use any kind of chicken or seafood with this dish. If you are not a fan of rabbit meat, you can easily substitute it with chicken or fish.


Paella rice is grown in Spain, making it slightly firmer and softer than paella. Bomba rice has a higher starch content than paella, making it a better risotto. Bomba rice can be cooked in Italian-style risotto or in Spanish dishes like Paella. If you prefer spicy dishes and/or saffron, use bomba rice. If you prefer to cook seafood or poultry, you should use paella instead of bomba. There are many types of rice, but people use the two most common ones to make dishes like paella and risotto bomba and arborio. Bomba rice is usually made with a shorter cooking time, while arborio rice is long-grained and is used to make risottos. Most bomba and arborio rice come from Spain, Italy, or Asia. The differences in taste and texture can affect the outcome of the dish; however, it will not overtake their versatility in cooking.

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