The most popular dish in Spain, the famous Paella Marinera or Seafood Paella, is a lovely mix of seafood in a bomba rice dish flavoured with veggies, smoked paprika, and saffron. Spain gastronomy at its very best!

Paella Marinera (seafood paella) is a dish; I’ve studied quite a lot since I live in Spain. Also, it’s “the meal” every guest visiting looks forward to experiencing. So I did my share of Seafood paella; I even bought a unique burner and massive paellera pan for six people. The beauty in seafood paella is that you can use whatever “seafood” you prefer, although the usual crawfish (Cigalas) and prawns (Langostinos) are the standard toppings. You’ll also find mussels and clams in most seafood paellas but it’s up to you and what you find at the market ultimately. The squid and cuttlefish are also used although usually reserved for the black paella.

I’ve used crawfish as a topping for this version, and in the paella are a few clams and shrimps. But you could also use other types of seafood like lobster, prawns, scallops, etc. This seafood paella is the most popular for visitors but is not the original version. The paella Valenciana is! A rabbit and snail version. Yeah… not as popular, let’s say.

The Spices

Seafood Paella Marinera

What gives the colour to a seafood paella, if you do it the natural way (no colourant), is the paprika and saffron. Often omitted, the saffron gives this tremendous golden colour to paella; the only “problem” with it… its price. So if you do not have any saffron, you can always use some smoked paprika (spicy or sweet), and if you want an extra colour, add little turmeric.

Sofrito or not?

One of the biggest debacles in Spain is: Does a paella need to start with a Sofrito or not? First, a Sofrito is this red paste from frying tomato, onion and garlic in olive oil until it makes a red paste. This gives taste and colour to many Spanish dishes.

The Fumet

The flavour of this dish lies mainly in the quality of the fish broth or fumet. This fumet must be tasty, and you’ll have a successful paella. It’s pretty easy to make your fumet. You make fish broth (fumet) faster than any other broth because the bones are minuscule. Plus, all the meat from the head gives it all in just a few minutes. For this paella, I’ve used a good artisanal premade fumet.

Seafood Paella Marinera

This dish is usually eaten on a Sunday afternoon, surrounded by friends and family—a whole afternoon event sitting at the terrasse of a restaurant. But also popular in the streets, it served as a communal dinner between neighbours. Originally, paellas were made over direct fire, giving the paella a smokey flavour. However, in our modern days, you use the special Pimenton de la Vera (smoked paprika; spicy or sweet) to recreate this smoky flavour.

The Divine Socarrat

The best part of paella is the tasty toasted crust at the bottom of the pan. It’s called the “Socarrat” and is only possible when using the special paella pan with a direct flame; otherwise, you’ll never get to create it. It’s unnecessary, although in Spain, a paella without this toasted crust “Socarrat” is like a cheeseburger without cheese.

To Serve with

So let’s make this famous Spanish recipe!

Paella Marinera (Seafood Paella)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 565
The most popular dish in Spain, the famous Paella Marinera or Seafood Paella is a lovely mix of seafood in a bomba rice dish flavoured with veggies, smoked paprika, and saffron.

Equipment

  • large paellera (30cm) or large pan

Ingredients

  • 6 crawfish (and/or prawns)
  • 20 shrimps (medium sized)
  • 20 clams
  • 300 g bomba rice
  • 750 g fumet
  • 100 ml white wine (optional)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tomato (cut into 2)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (cut into small dices)
  • 2 tsp Pimenton de la Vera (or paprika)
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • salt and pepper

Instructions 

  • Start by warming up the broth in a pot.
    Seafood Paella ingredients
  • Then sear the crawfish or prawns in the paellera (or pan) in olive oil, medium-high heat, for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Reserve.
    Seafood Paella crayfish
  • Add the onion and garlic in the paellera with olive oil, medium-high heat, until translucent.
    Seafood Paella onions
  • With a fine cheese grater, grate the inside of the tomato over the onions until only the skin is left.
  • Add the red pepper, paprika, shrimps tails, clams and the white wine.
    Seafood Paella reducing
  • Wait until the juice becomes a light paste; mix during this time (the clams will open up).
  • Make a well in the pan's middle and add more olive oil.
    Seafood Paella rice
  • Add the rice in the middle, and mix well for a minute or two until the rice is slightly translucent.
  • Add the warm broth to cover by double the height of the rice, and bring to medium-high heat.
    Seafood Paella
  • Add the saffron and salt, and mix for a last time the paella.
  • Cook the first 5-6 minutes to medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low heat for the last 10 minutes.
  • Add the crawfish and/or prawn a few minutes before the end.
    Seafood Paella
  • Check for the rice doneness, and add broth or water if necessary.
  • When the rice is al dente take off the fire and cover with a clean towel.
  • Let the paella soak up all the liquid left for 3 minutes.
Author: thefoodolic
Calories: 565kcal
Course: Plato principal
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: black paella, bomba rice, crayfish, marinera, seafood, socarat, Spain, traditional

Nutrition

Calories: 565kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 839mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1721IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition Facts
Paella Marinera (Seafood Paella)
Amount per Serving
Calories
565
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
22
g
34
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Trans Fat
 
0.01
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
16
g
Cholesterol
 
86
mg
29
%
Sodium
 
839
mg
36
%
Potassium
 
361
mg
10
%
Carbohydrates
 
68
g
23
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
18
g
36
%
Vitamin A
 
1721
IU
34
%
Vitamin C
 
42
mg
51
%
Calcium
 
57
mg
6
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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