Arroz Negro with mini squids and shrimps

A famous dish in Spain, is the famous “arroz negro” made with the fresh ink of cuttlefish. I don’t know why they call it “black rice” instead of “black paella” since it’s done exactly like a paella and it usually comes in the paella pan… Nonetheless, this dark paella is my personal favorite of them all! I know it can be challenging for some, even for me at first, the color and the fact that you eat the cuttlefish ink… but if you are courageous enough to take the first bite. Oh my! You will discover another world! The ink actually is a mouthful of sea aromas, salty, it’s really a flavour of it’s own. But if you want to be submerged into that meal… you’ll have to be brave enough to take the first bite and then it will become one of those printed memories you always dream of going back to. I’m not kidding… it’s so sad sometimes that our minds blocks us from stuff simply based on color…

Arroz negroThe dish comes from Valencia, Spain. It’s usually made with cuttlefish, as I said earlier, and its ink, pepper, onion, garlic, wine and fish stock. I did a slightly different one, I’ve used mini squids (Chipironnes) and shrimps, which is not uncommon to see in Spain. For you guys at home, you can use whether cuttlefish or squid, frozen or not. As for the ink, I believe they sell small conserves online or check your local European market or fishmonger. In Spain, I use for one medium size paella, 4 packs of 4 g which are small frozen sachets, the equivalent of 1 big tablespoon of conserved ink. Don’t forget to serve this dish with napkins or towels since it can become nasty around you lips… but the mess this dish does is really recommendable! Maybe except for a first date…

So… let’s make this black Spanish delight!

Arroz Negro with Mini Squids and Shrimps

Makes 4 portions | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Preparation time: 10 minutes

  • Arroz Negro with mini squids and shrimps300g bomba rice
  • 500ml warm fish stock
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 16g of cuttlefish ink
  • 2 tomatoes, grate the inside of each half onto a cheese grater to collect only the juice and flesh (see picture)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into small cubesArroz Negro with mini squids and shrimps
  • 2 small onions, cut into small cubes
  • 2 garlic clove + 1/2 a garlic for the picada (the last step)
  • 1 hand of fresh flat leave parsley
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp of sweet paprika (pimenton dulce)
  • salt, pepper
  1. Start by sauté (high heat) the squid and shrimp separately in olive oil
  2. Reserve (keep a few for decorations and the rest goes in the arroz negro)
  3. Bring the fish stock to simmer
  4. Mix a few spoons of fish stock with the ink in a bowl, reserve
  5. Add half the wine, 50 ml, to the bottom of the pan to collect the leftovers from the previously cooked shrimps and squids
  6. Once all the goods are in the wine, add the onion and garlic to soften
  7. Let reduce slowly the onions, and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes
  8. Add the tomato paste and let all its water evaporate, about 3 minutes
  9. Makes a well in the center of the pan and add a little extra oil and the bomba rice in there, bring to medium-high heat, mix constantly until the rice is translucent, about 1-2 minutes
  10. Add the fish stock, top the rice (a small finger over it) and let cook high heat the first 5 minutes, no need to move it
  11. Add the cuttlefish ink mix (from step 4), squids, shrimps, paprika, pepper cubes, salt and pepper, mix briefly
  12. Lower the heat after the first 5 minutes to medium-high heat, cook for another 10 minutes
  13. Make the “picada” (aromatics that goes at the end of coccion) in a mortar, mash into a paste the parsley, 1/2 garlic, salt and a touch of olive oil
  14. Add the rest of the wine, the picada and a bit of fish stock if missing, until the rice is al dente or to your like (the whole cooking process takes about 17 minutes)
  15. When the rice is al dente, stop the heat, and cover with a clean towel
  16. Let it absorbs all the liquids left for 3 minutes
  17. Serve with the reserved mini squids



Arroz Negro with mini squids and shrimps

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