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Vegetarian paella

Vegetarian paella with recipe

What is a typical paella?

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish from the region of Valencia, often regarded as a symbol of Spanish cuisine. The heart of any Paella is the rice, typically seasoned with saffron, which gives it its characteristic golden color. Paella usually contains a mixture of seafood, meat, or vegetables. It is prepared in a large, shallow pan over an open flame or on the stove, giving the rice its unique texture and intense flavor. Vegetarian and vegan Paella recipes have also become very popular as they offer healthy and delicious alternatives.

Recipe in this blog post:

» Vegetarian paella

Which country does paella come from?

Paella has its roots in Spain, specifically in the region of Valencia. Originally conceived as a simple peasant meal, Paella has evolved into a culinary symbol of Spain and is served worldwide in numerous variations.

How to prepare paella?

The preparation of a Paella begins with sautéing onions, garlic, and bell peppers in olive oil. For a vegetarian Paella, fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, green beans, and artichokes are added. After sautéing, the rice is added and briefly toasted before warm vegetable broth and saffron or turmeric are added. The rice is then slowly cooked until the liquid is absorbed and the rice has reached the perfect consistency.

This method is also excellent for our Japanese-inspired Paella, which uses exclusively plant-based ingredients. The innovative combination of Japanese and Western cuisine brings a fresh note through the use of black salsify and Shimeji mushrooms, giving this traditional Spanish dish an exotic yet harmonious touch.

Is paella always with rice?

Yes, rice is the heart of any Paella and indispensable for this dish. Traditionally, Spanish short-grain or medium-grain rice such as Bomba or Calasparra is used for Paella, both known for their ability to absorb flavors and liquids well without becoming mushy.

Which rice is in a paella?

Several types of rice are excellent for preparing Paella. The choice of rice significantly influences the texture and flavor of the dish:

  • Bomba rice: The preferred rice for Paella, originating from Valencia. This short-grain rice absorbs liquid and flavors without losing its shape. It can absorb up to three times its weight in liquid, making it ideal for Paella.
  • Calasparra rice: From the Murcia region, similar to Bomba but with a longer cooking time. It offers a perfect texture and is ideal for complex flavors.
  • Senia and Bahia rice: Traditional Spanish short-grain varieties with good absorption and a soft, creamy consistency. Ideal for traditional Paella recipes.
  • Arborio rice: Known for risotto, but can also be used for Paella, especially if other varieties are unavailable. It results in a creamier texture.

For an authentic Paella, Bomba or Calasparra rice is best due to their excellent flavor absorption and perfect texture. However, Senia, Bahia, and Arborio also offer interesting alternatives.

What is in the paella spice?

The main spice in a traditional Paella is saffron, which gives the rice its golden color and distinctive flavor. Paprika or pepper is often used as well to add depth and spiciness to the dish.

For our Paella, we use fresh parsley to intensify the aroma, and we use turmeric instead of saffron. Turmeric not only gives the dish a brilliant golden color but also a mild, earthy flavor that pairs excellently with fresh vegetables. Additionally, turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, making the dish not only delicious but also healthy.

Preparing paella in cast iron

The choice of pan plays a crucial role in preparing a good Paella. Cast iron pans are ideal because they distribute and retain heat evenly, which is essential for the slow and even cooking of Paella. This prevents uneven cooking and ensures that the rice cooks uniformly and achieves the desired texture.

Cast iron pans keep the dish warm longer after cooking, making them perfect for entertaining guests. A distinctive feature of traditional Paella is the formation of the "Socarrat" – the crispy layer of rice at the bottom of the pan. Cast iron pans transmit heat directly and evenly, creating this delicious crust.

With proper care, cast iron develops a natural patina that serves as a non-stick layer. This prevents the rice from sticking to the bottom and burning.

Malutto cast iron pan from Oigen

The Malutto cast iron pan from Oigen is perfect for preparing our vegetarian Paella. This pan combines centuries-old Japanese craftsmanship with modern functionality, ideal for demanding Paella preparations.

Form and Function: Inspired by a traditional Japanese Tetsubin (kettle), the Malutto pan has a gently rounded surface that distributes heat evenly and promotes convection steam. This prevents the food from drying out or burning, which is crucial for an even consistency and flavor absorption of the rice.

Material and Manufacturing: Made from Japanese cast iron with a "naked finish," the Malutto pan offers a natural, durable non-stick surface that is ideal for intense flavors.

Versatility: The sturdy iron lid can also be used separately for steaming or grilling, expanding culinary possibilities. The Malutto pan works excellently on the stove, in the oven, or over an open flame.

Size and Capacity: With a diameter of 21.1 cm and a capacity of 1.6 liters, the Malutto pan is spacious enough for preparing Paella. Its robust construction ensures stability and durability.

With the Malutto cast iron pan from Oigen, you can experience the art of Paella preparation at the highest level – an essential companion for any kitchen that values quality and authenticity.

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Vegetarian paella recipe

von Yoshiko Imazato

No. of persons3-4 personsNo. of persons
Total Timeca. 45 minutesTotal Time
Level of difficultyeasyLevel of difficulty
Dishmain mealDish
Caloriesca. 360 kcal pro PortionCalories
List of ingredients
80g black root
300g rice, washed
1/2 onion
100g canned corn
40g Shimeji mushrooms
1 1/2 tsp tomato puree
8 Cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
360ml Bouillon
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
a little pepper
some lemon
to taste parsley or other favorite herbs
Kochende Miss Oryoki
Ingredients for vegetarian paella recipe
Sauté the salsify, onion and garlic
Add spices and tomato puree
Simmer the vegetables and stir well
Add the rice and toast
Add the tomatoes, corn and mushrooms and deglaze with stock
Cover the paella and leave to rest
Serve the paella with fresh lemon slices
Step 1

Chop the onion and garlic finely. Slice the black salsify. Quarter the lemon.

Step 2

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the black salsify, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt. Sauté the vegetables over medium heat until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).

Step 3

Cover the pan and let the vegetables simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 4

Add the spices, turmeric powder, tomato paste, and pepper. Mix everything well to coat the vegetables.

Step 5

Add the washed rice to the pan, stir to combine, and lightly toast the rice for 3 minutes.

Step 6

Add the canned corn, Shimeji mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes.

Step 7

Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and let the Paella simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 8

Turn off the heat and let the Paella rest covered for 5-10 minutes. Garnish the Paella with chopped parsley or herbs, and serve with lemon wedges.

If you would like to prepare this recipe with different vegetables, substitute the vegetables mentioned above with your favorites.
Enjoy your meal! (O shokuji o o tanoshimi kudasai)

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