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Simple Seafood Paella

Simple Seafood Paella

Truth to be told - this is not an authentic Spanish paella but as I saw somebody cooking paella in a movie, I felt I needed to give it a go myself and sooner rather than later, so there was no time for shopping and I needed it right this moment! I somehow always manage to have at least 3 different types of rice, so this was covered. I used risotto rice as this seemed the closest to Spanish rice, but feel free to use Spanish rice as this is used in the original. I also happened to have a classic risotto spice saffron available (even two jars, both unopened) and some frozen
seafood too, so an hour after I was done with the movie I, already had a plate full of this delicious treat in front of me. And delicious it is! 

Classically paella is cooked on a paella pan, which I didn’t have, so I just used a normal frying pan, so no need to panic if you don’t have the right pan – if you don’t plan on becoming a professional paella chef, the normal pan will do just fine. 

One thing to remember when cooking paella – after adding the broth to the pan, try not to mix this at all. This is a huge challenge for me as I am very used to cooking risotto where mixing is everything. And another thing – the pan only needs to be covered at the very end to steam the seafood through. For the rest of the cooking time, the pan is uncovered. With the pan uncovered and not mixing the paella, you will get a nice crispy bottom layer of rice called soccarat, which is just amazing.

Also, many people also like to add chorizo or chicken to the paella, rabbit is also a classical ingredient, but just seafood is delicious in my opinion. Peas and beans would be a good option too, making this a 100% plant-based dish. So you do what you like, just make
sure to use good rice, loads of onions, tomatoes and peppers, paprika powder, and saffron, and the rest is up to you!

Simple Seafood Paella

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2-3


  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tsp paprika powder (I prefer spicy and unsmoked, but you do you)
  • 2 ½ cups 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 small red capsicum
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 cup of short-grain rice (I used risotto rice, there is also Spanish rice, which works even
  • better)
  • 3 cups of chicken, seafood, or vegetable broth
  • 8 medium prawns
  • 4 large calamari rings
  • 16 vongole clams in shells
  • 1 lemon
  • Parsley to serve


1. If using frozen seafood, take them out of the fridge to let them thaw slowly if possible. If you are rushed, place the seafood in cold water to speed up the process.

2. Place the saffron threads in a small cup with a couple of tablespoons of warm water to infuse.

3. Chop the onion, capsicum, tomatoes, and celery, place them in the frying pan with the oil, and a sprinkle of salt, and let them sweat for around 10 minutes until they are soft.

4. Add in the rice, spices, and broth, give it a quick stir, and taste. Add salt or more spices now, if you feel like it.

5. Leave the pan uncovered to simmer for 15-16 minutes. By this time, almost all the broth should be absorbed. Have a quick taste to make sure that the rice is almost tender.

6. Without disturbing the rice too much (you do not want to touch the bottom) snuggle the seafood pieces on top of the rice, then cover with a lid and leave to cook in medium-high heat for 5 more minutes.

7. Serve with lemon wedges and parsley.

By Kadri Raig

Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here:

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