Making paella can be a great experience for amateur cooks and professionals alike. The dish is relatively simple and only requires the right ingredients, pan and large spoon or spatula, and a large enough burner / wood fire. Within the ingredients, the rice used plays an important role. But what is the best rice for paella? Well, the most optimal rice for paella for bomba rice (also known as paella rice). Rice can vary in size, texture, and consistency when cooked. However, short grain and highly absorbent rice like bomba is perfect for paella. But what makes bomba rice the best rice to use with paella? Well, here are some advantages of using bomba rice over others when making paella:
- Fast cooking
- Best texture and flavor
Paella is a dish that is cooked in a single pan along with all the ingredients. To cook paella properly, you want to time it so that the rice is finish alongside the other ingredients by the time the broth or stock is absorbed. All rice absorbs water so why not just use long-grain white rice, the most common rice in supermarkets and grocery stores? Well, it all has to do with absorbency. If you want all the broth to be absorbed, long grain and medium grain rice are riskier since they absorb less liquid. If most of the liquid evaporates then your recipe may end up dry and the rice may be undercooked.
Bomba rice is unique in that it is one of a couple of Spanish rice that can absorb lots of moisture without getting mushy. Long grain rice has the tendency to either be undercooked and sticky or overcooked and mushy. Either way, you get an unappetizing texture that does not match real paella. When shopping, you will want to keep an eye out for bomba rice or something with the label “paella rice”. There are other rice that are from Spain and may be used in paella, but bomba is often the most recommended and traditionally used.
Paella is a fast cooking recipe. The rice may spend only 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the pan and the amount of broth. You will want to completely avoid rice that takes a long time to cook. If you are considering using brown rice or wild rice, then you will need to find a recipe that specifically uses that grain. Traditional and modern paellas do not use certain varieties to avoid undercooking.
Best Texture and Flavor
One of the biggest reasons to only use bomba rice is because it is specifically chosen with paella in mind. For hundreds of years, Spanish rice has been cultivated and used in traditional recipes. Short-grain rice like bomba has been the go-to rice for making the dish for much of that time. Recipes rely on cooks using the right ingredients so that cooking times line up and everything is ready to eat. Bomba has a superior texture and flavor when it comes to paella. The delicious rice is known throughout Spain, particularly in paella hotspots like Valencia where the dish originates.
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