Paella Negra or Arroz Negre is a dish that originated in Valencia, Spain. It is basically composed of rice, squid, and lots of squid or cuttlefish ink. I added extra ingredients in this recipe to make it tastier and colorful. The additional ingredients that I used are shrimp and bell peppers. These can be considered as optional ingredients, which means that you can still make black paella without these.
The secret to a tasty and successful paella negra dish is the the squid ink. This is its main source of flavor. I know for a fact that squid varieties in the Philippines produces enough ink to provide flavor to any dish. However, there are some squid varieties that don’t have enough ink (for some reason), just like the ones that I get here in the USA. For this reason, I use an ingredient known as “tinta de calamar (squid ink)” to compensate for the lack of color and flavor of the squid. A minimum of 2 teaspoons of this product is enough to provide the color and flavor that I needed.
Before you proceed, note that you don’t need to purchase a paellera to make paella, as long as you have a wide pan with cover. The ingredients are more important than the equipment when making this dish. This reminds me to suggest the best type of rice that you can use for Paella. The top two best paella rice that I suggest are Calasparra (which is what I am using for this recipe) and bomba rice. I was able to source it online.
Note that I intentionally did not use saffron to make pealla negra because I want the squid flavor to stand out. However, feel free to add a teaspoon of saffron, if you prefer. I personally think that adding a small amount of saffron can make the dish taste better. This is my secret ingredient when making seafood paella.
Try this Paella Negra Recipe. Let me know what you think.
Paella Negra (Arroz Negre) Recipe
- 6 to 9 pieces colossal shrimp or prawn
- 5 medium squid cleaned and sliced crosswise
- 2 cups Calasparra rice
- 1 1/2 cups white wine Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio
- 2 1/2 cups fish broth or clam juice
- 2 teaspoons tinta de calamar bottled squid or cuttlefish ink
- 1 medium yellow onion minced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 4 medium roma tomato peeled and sliced into small cubes
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 1 small green bell pepper
- 2 lemons sliced into wedges
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Heat olive oil in a paellera or wide pan.
- Pan fry shrimp in medium heat for 1 minute per side. Remove and set aside.
- Stir-fry the sliced squid for 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Saute garlic and onion for 30 seconds. Add tomato. Continue to cook until onion starts to get translucent and soft. Note: you can add more olive oil if needed.
- Add half of the bell pepper and 2 cups of Calasparra rice. Stir. Cook for 1 minute.
- Pour the wine and fish broth into the pan. Add the squid ink (tinta de calamar). Stir and let boil.
- Cover and continue to cook between low to medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Note: add water if needed.
- Top with pan-fried shrimp, squid, lemon wedges, and remaining bell peppers. Cover the pan and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the rice is cooked perfectly.
- Serve. Share and enjoy!