Enjoy traditional Spanish food in the comfort of your own home!

What is a paella pan? Paella requires a wide pan, completely flat with a thin bottom, which makes it very responsive to changes in heat. The pan should have a wide surface allowing it to cook as thin rice layer as possible.

How to make paella without a paella pan? Just use the widest, shallowest and thinnest frying pan you have. By the way, if you have a shallow wok, that work just as fine. This only works with small portions of paella. Don’t overload the wok.

Rice fo paella. Rice is a very tricky ingredient. Whether for risotto, paella, sushi, or pilaf, you need a certain kind of rice. You really should pay attention to choosing the rice. Only a short-grain variety is suitable. I think the best one is Bomba rice. Unlike risotto, the rice should not be stirred at all. We need a delicate but not creamy texture.

What to add first, water or rice? Both are correct. In paella Valenciana (a traditional paella native to Valencia with rabbit, duck, or chicken), the rice is never sautéed in oil; first, water or broth is poured into the vegetable and meat mixture and allowed to reduce by half. Then the rice is added. In other recipes for mixed paella or paella with seafood, the rice is sautéed in oil with the vegetables and meat and only then water or broth is added.

Sofrito. After roasting the chicken and pancetta, prepare the sofrito. It’s a flavorful mixture of onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Stir the vegetables while cooking them so they don’t burn.

Broth or water? In this recipe, we use dark chicken meat on the bone. The broth comes out on its own, so we only add water. If you are making paella with only seafood, use prepared chicken broth or make a quick light seafood broth while the sofrito roasts. Simply fry the shells and heads of shrimp or langoustines, pour in some wine, evaporate it, pour in water and simmer for 20 minutes. Wine will make the taste softer and more distinguished.

When to Cover Paella? Cover the paella at the very end, 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Foil is ideal for this. Cover the entire surface of the rice tightly and press around the edges with a spoon. At this time, all excess water has already been absorbed, but the rice is still a little hard. Now that crust, el socarrat, is forming. Therefore, increase the heat slightly.

Paella ingredients and substitutions. What else you can make paella with?

  • Saffron is traditionally used for cooking, but safflower or Imeretian saffron (marigold) can be used as substitutes.
  • You can replace the fresh tomatoes with canned diced tomatoes.
  • You can also add other vegetables, like sweet peppers, some green peas, or green beans.
  • Chorizo – for more flavor, just roast before the vegetables.
  • Just a seafood paella. Shrimp, squid, mussels. You can even add pre-cooked octopus.
  • Chicken and seafood paella or only prawn paella.
  • Mussels clams paella. Wash the mussels and clams well and fry with a little wine in a separate pan until they are open. Then add along with the shrimp.
  • Whitefish. Cut the fish fillets into small pieces and add them along with the shrimp.

What to serve with paella? Paella is considered a complete dish itself. But for starters, you can serve some sheep cheese, olives and fried Padron peppers.

How to reheat paella? Do not reheat it in the microwave. You can reheat paella in a frying pan, over low heat, covered. Or use the oven. Warm up at 150°C / 300°F. Cover the paella with foil. Stir occasionally.

What to drink with paella? What wine goes with paella? Choose Spanish wines. Our chicken and shrimp paella is best paired with white wine made from chardonnay, verdejo, albarino, or sauvignon blanc grapes works well. Another interesting option is Cava. White wine sangria is great too, especially if you’re hosting a Spanish-style party.

Shrimp and Chicken Paella


Shrimp and Chicken Paella
Shrimp and Chicken Paella
5 minutes 40 minutes 3-4 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 180 g (6½ oz, 1 cup) paella rice (bomba rice)
  • 12-16 in-shell shrimps without the head (250 g, 9 oz)
  • 350 g (12 oz) chicken legs and/or wings
  • 40 g (1½ oz) sliced pancetta or bacon
  • 1 onion (100 g, 3½ oz)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tomato (200 g, 7 oz)
  • 450 ml (15 fl oz) water (or chicken broth)
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • 4 tbsp frying oil
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) dry white wine (optional)
  • Lemon for serving


  1. Pour 1 tbsp hot water over the saffron.
  2. Thinly slice the pancetta, garlic and parsley. Dice the tomatoes.
  1. Coarsely chop the chicken into large chunks. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet. Add the chicken, pancetta and a couple of pinches of salt. Fry until golden, about 8 minutes.
  1. Add another 1 tbsp vegetable oil and add the chopped onions to the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the thinly sliced garlic, turn the heat down to low. Fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the pan along with the paprika and chili. Increase the heat again and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in the rice. Cook, stirring for about 1 minute.
  5. Pour in the water and saffron liquid. Bring to a boil and salt. Cook for 20 minutes over low heat. Do not stir!
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the shrimp. Using scissors along the back, cut the carapace and remove the vein. Place the shrimp on a paper towel. Blot the top.
  1. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a clean skillet. Add a couple pinches of salt and lay out the shrimp in 1 layer. Sauté on both sides over high heat. Pour in the wine and stir.

You can skip this step about sautéing the shrimp and just place the raw shrimp in the rice, pressing them in lightly. But you get extra flavor by sautéing them.

  1. Place the sautéed shrimp in the paella and press them into the rice. Cover tightly with two layers of foil, increase the heat slightly. Now that crust, el socarrat, is forming. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  1. Remove from the heat and let stand for another 5 minutes. Add the finely chopped parsley and stir. Serve with a slice of lemon.

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Five-spice duck fillet with egg noodles in chinese style

Cooking Duck and Egg Noodles is much faster than waiting for boxed noodles to be delivered. 

What can you add to your Duck with Noodles? Ingredients and substitutions.

Noodles. You can use any kind of noodles. I like the round egg ones. Ramen noodles or Chow Mein noodles are also great. Any thin egg noodles would be perfect. Just look for eggs in the ingredients.

If you want buckwheat soba noodles or rice noodles, use them.

Vegetables and spices. Of the vegetables and spices, definitely use ginger, garlic, onions, 5-spice mixture, soy and oyster sauces. If you don’t happen to have oyster sauce, that’s too bad, but then add 1.5 tsp of sugar to the noodles. 

Meat. You can replace the duck with chicken (better to use a thigh, it’s juicier) or seafood (shrimp and calamari). Simply cut the chicken into pieces and stir-fry before adding the vegetables. Fry the shrimp together with the vegetables.  

Leftover cooked duck will also work for this recipe. Remove the meat from the bones of baked duck or Peking duck. 

You can choose not to add anything at all and make the noodles vegetarian.

What else can we add to duck noodles? Finely shredded Chinese cabbage or regular cabbage, for crunchiness. Bean sprouts and green beans.

I recommend making it spicier and drinking a light filtered beer with it!

Ok, how to make duck and noodles?

Five-spice Duck and Noodles in Chinese Style


Five-spice Duck and Noodles in Chinese Style

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 1 duck fillet
  • 130 g ( 4½ oz) egg noodles
  • 1 (60 g, 2 oz) onions
  • 1 (60 g, 2 oz) carrots
  • ½ (60 g, 2 oz) bell peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 sm (30 g, 1 oz) ginger
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • ⅔ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • ⅙ lemon
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
5 minutes 20-25 minutes 2 servings


To make the fillet as tender as possible, you need to take it out of the refrigerator in advance. Ideally 30-60 minutes before cooking.

  1. Dry the duck fillet with paper towels. Rub salt on the skin.
  2. Place the duck fillets skin-side down in a cold wok or large deep pan where you will cook the noodles next.

You can just slice the duck fillets and cook duck stir fry – roast the pieces along with the vegetables if you’re in a hurry, but then you won’t have the roasted skin.

  1. Over low heat, melt the fat. Fry on the skin side only until golden. It takes 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Slice the carrots and bell peppers into thin slices. Cut the onion lengthwise, into feathers. Crush the garlic with the flat side of a knife and chop. Grate the ginger on a fine grater.
  1. Peel the peanuts and roast them in a dry pan. Slice the green onions diagonally. Cut the chili in rings. 
  1. Put the noodles into a pot of boiling water and cook for 1 minute less than what is indicated on the package. Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water.
  2. Transfer the duck fillets from the wok to a plate with the skin facing up so they don’t get soggy.
  1. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to the wok. Increase the fire. Next, cook on high heat. 
  2. Add the onions and carrots. Fry for about 1 minute. Add bell peppers, garlic, ginger, and five-spice powder to the pan. Fry, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.
  1. Place the duck fillet skin-side down on a cutting board and slice thinly. Add to the wok along with the chili peppers and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
  1. Add the noodles. Stir until the noodles are warm. Pour in the soy sauce and oyster sauce.
  2. Squeeze in some lemon juice, add peanuts and green onions. Stir and remove from heat

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If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on truffles, this recipe is for you. But if you don’t have any, and you really want some, get truffle paste or, as a last resort, oil.

I probably don’t need to tell you how delicious truffle pasta tastes. I think it’s pretty clear. Sometimes I manage to buy fresh truffles, which are grown in our western Ukraine. Then all week long we have a truffle festival at home. The day usually starts with toast and scrambled eggs, and ends with filet mignon, pasta or risotto with truffle.

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on truffles, this recipe is for you. But if you don’t have any, and you really want some, get truffle paste or, as a last resort, oil. Porcini mushrooms are wonderfully tolerant of freezing. So feel free to use them.

Tagliatelle pasta with porcini and truffles


Tagliatelle with truffles
2 minutes 15-20 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 170 g (6 oz) fettuccine or linguine
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 300 g (11 oz) porcini mushrooms
  • 15-20 g fresh truffle
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) white dry wine
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan


  1. Chop the porcini mushrooms coarsely. Crush the garlic with the flat side of a knife. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet and add the mushrooms. When the liquid is completely boiled off, add 1 tbsp butter and garlic. Fry the mushrooms until golden. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.  At the end, pour in the white wine and let it evaporate. Add salt and pepper, remove the garlic. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining butter.
  2. Boil the pasta, 1 minute less than indicated on the package. Reserve a cup of pasta water.
  3. In a bowl, mix the yolks, grated cheese, and 4 tbsp of the pasta water.
  4. Put the mushrooms back on the fire. Add the pasta to the hot skillet. Stir for 20-30 seconds and remove from heat.
  5. Pour in a couple tablespoons of the pasta water, which cools the pan slightly.
  6. Add the egg yolk and parmesan sauce. Stir vigorously. Add more water if necessary. The pasta should be slippery. Add salt and pepper.
  7. Arrange on plates. Sprinkle truffles on top. To cut thin slices of truffle, use a slicer, shredder, or vegetable peeler. Serve with wine.

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This is a lovely dish for a cozy evening, especially good for an autumn or rainy day. You can use your favorite mushrooms. Armillaria, porcini or eringi.

As soon as fresh chanterelles appear on the market, they should be immediately grabbed and made into this wonderful risotto. This is a lovely dish for a cozy evening, especially good for an autumn or rainy day. It has such beautiful golden tones and will keep you warm in any weather. The orange gives a fresh citrus note and brings out the flavor of the mushrooms.

You may think it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.

The most popular 3 varieties of rice for risotto are Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone. My favorite variety is Carnaroli. It has an elongated grain and the most starch, which gives a wonderful creamy texture. 

Here you can read how to quickly cook broth for risotto.

Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto


10 minutes 20-30 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • ½ kg (1 lb) chanterelles
  • 160 g (5½ oz) Carnaroli rice
  • 1 onion or 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp frozen corn
  • ½ orange
  • 2 tbsp (40 g) butter
  • 50 ml (1½ fl oz) white dry wine
  • 600 ml (20 fl oz) vegetable or chicken broth
  • 5 tbsp (40 g) grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 tbsp frying oil
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Sprig of thyme
  • Ground black pepper


  1. Peel the chanterelles, remove the dirt, and wash well. Drain the clean mushrooms in a colander, then dry on a paper towel.

Although it is believed that mushrooms should not be washed, there is nothing worse than crunchy sand in the teeth. Just try to do it as quickly as possible so the mushrooms don’t pick up water.

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a deep skillet with a thick bottom. Add the chanterelles. When they release their liquid, add the thyme. Cook over medium heat until all the liquid has boiled off.
  2. Crush 1 clove of garlic with the flat side of a knife.  Add the garlic and 1 tbsp (20 g) of butter to the pan. Fry until golden. Salt and pepper.
  3. Remove the zest from half of the orange and set it aside. You will need it later.
  4. Squeeze the juice of the orange into the mushrooms. Add salt and pepper. When the liquid is completely evaporated, transfer the mushrooms to a plate, leaving the rest of the oil in the pan.
  5. Finely chop the shallot. Chop the garlic with a knife. Add another spoonful of vegetable oil to the skillet in which you fried the mushrooms. Sauté the onions over low heat until soft, about 7-10 minutes. The onions should not change color much. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle in the rice. Fry over low heat for about a minute.
  6. Pour in the wine and evaporate it completely.

The broth should simmer lightly on the stove at all times.

  1. Add 2 ladles of broth and a big pinch of salt. Turn down the heat and time it for exactly 10 minutes. The risotto takes a total of 14 minutes to cook. 

Pour the broth through a sieve to strain the vegetables out.

  1. Stir the risotto frequently and vigorously. The rice should not dry out. Add 1-2 ladles of broth as soon as the liquid boils.
  2. About 10 minutes. Now there should be a little more water in the risotto than you would like to have in the finished dish.
  3. Add the corn, orange zest, and most of the mushrooms. Just leave a couple spoonfuls of mushrooms for decoration on top (optional). Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 more minutes.
  4. Add the butter and mix it very vigorously into the rice. When the butter is completely dissolved, add the grated parmesan. Also stir vigorously for about 1 minute and remove from the heat.
  5. Let the risotto stand for 1 minute. Pepper. Taste it and add salt, if necessary.
  6. Arrange the risotto on plates. Sprinkle the remaining mushrooms on top and serve.

To evenly distribute the risotto, place a towel on your work surface and tap the bottom of the plate with risotto on the table.

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