One of the culinary dreams of any cooking lover is to make a good real Valencian paella. Although the base of the recipe seems simple, finding the rice doneness and buying the right ingredients is not always an easy task. We have compiled five main tips for making the best paella around the world, if not the world, at least in your neighbourhood, an ambitious but comprehensive project. And practice makes perfect.
1. Quality is the name of the game
Making the best paella involves a simple but effective base: quality ingredients. You have half the work done with quality raw materials, as it usually happens with any dish. Tasty ingredients are the key, and fresh ingredients will make the difference. In the case of meat, it is better to buy it from a trusted local market. If we are talking about rice, try to get good rice from Valencia or bomba rice because it absorbs broth better.
The use of saffron is another of the critical pieces in an excellent Valencian paella. Not only because of the aroma but also because of the colour, and you just need a few threads.
Garrofón and tabella
Garrafón and tabella are two significant local ingredients for the original paella. It is not hard to buy them online now because paella is a well-known and universal dish. But you can also look for alternatives with some similar beans in your local market.
2. The pan
You cook paella in a paella, large pan from Valencia (yes, they have the same name). It is the right pan for several reasons: it has the perfect height and width for a good distribution of flavour and to cook rice and other ingredients evenly. Once you add the rice, don’t move it or stir it; the rice stays where it is until you finish cooking. Otherwise, you will release the starch and get a sort of weird pasta.
3. Meats in paella
The traditional paella recipe has chicken and rabbit. You need to fry them slowly, before the rest of the ingredients. When you add vegetables, we begin to talk about cooking the sofrito.
4. What is sofrito
Sofrito is the base for many Mediterranean dishes. It involves vegetables like onions, garlic, celery, peppers, and carrots… cooking gently and slowly with olive oil until tender. In the case of paella, you need to use green pepper, tomato, and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients (beans) and let the rice absorb the released flavours for a couple of minutes before pouring water or broth. Remember: one part rice to two parts and a half water.
5. Paella: Not shaken, not stirred.
Some people think it is better to cover the paella for five minutes before serving. We choose to leave it uncovered for about six minutes for flavorful rice—a Hollywood ending for your hard work that needs that extra time to be perfect.
Last, a final recommendation: do not limit yourself to Valencian paella. There are many worthwhile rice recipes from Valencia. Cook paella with vegetables, fish, and seafood, and even keep your hands clean with a good “señoret rice” dish. Rice culture has a wide range of ingredients and recipes to enjoy all summer. But what if you do not have enough space in a yard to cook a paella properly? Let’s go to the next and final point.
Can you cook a good paella on an induction hob?
The answer is yes. It is important that heat is evenly distributed throughout the paella, and a good induction hob can do the job. Cooking a paella on the hob has extra advantages. The process is usually cleaner and easier. But above all, cooking paella on a hobhttps://www.teka.com/global/inspiration/innovation/history-of-the-hob-from-fire-to-induction/ means you can make it at any time, rain or shine, for up to 12 people, even in this case. And, let’s face it, you don’t always have a yard or a similar place to cook outdoors. Does this democratise cooking paella? We think so.