Arroz negro (or "black rice") is one of Spain's most traditional rice dishes. Made in a paella pan, it's a dry rice (as opposed to some of the brothy styles) that's made with black squid ink and loads of fresh seafood. In Spain, rices are a very communal meal made for a crowd and are usually served for big celebrations or Sunday gatherings. Black Rice is salty, savory, and has a rich ocean flavor. Here's how we make our Arroz Negro:
Recipe for Arroz Negro
Arroz Negro Ingredients
- 11 oz. bomba rice
- One cuttlefish, cut into small pieces
- 9 oz. shrimp, peeled
- 4 oz. onion, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 oz. green bell pepper, finely chopped
- Fish or seafood broth
- 1/2 cup white wine
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Three sachets of cuttlefish or squid ink
Arroz Negro Preparation
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a paella pan.
- Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the cuttlefish. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and stir. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and garlic to the paella pan and sauté for a couple of minutes. Then add in the tomato.
- Season with salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Then remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
- Place squid ink in a glass cup and dissolve with 2 tablespoons of hot water. Then pour the water into the paella pan, stirring to combine.
- Add in the rice and let it toast up a bit in the pan, stirring constantly.
- Add the wine and cook until it evaporates.
- Cover the rice with half of the fish stock and let it boil for 10 minutes on high heat.
- After 10 minutes, pour in the remaining fish stock and lower the heat. Cook for 7 minutes undisturbed, or until the rice reaches your desired texture (cook time will depend on the brand of rice).
- Add the shrimp back to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes. The rice should be soft and the broth should have completely evaporated.
- Remove from heat and let the rice rest 5 minutes before serving. ¡Buen provecho!
Tips for a Perfect Spanish Black Rice
- Be careful when adding salt. Taste the seafood broth before adding in so you have an idea of how salty everything will taste.
- Switch out the shrimp and cuttlefish for baby squid, prawns, or whatever season seafood you fancy.
- Serve Arroz Negro with a homemade aioli sauce to add extra creaminess and a fresh raw garlicky flavor.
- Pair with a dry white wine
- Make sure you serve with extra napkins, as the squid ink can stain easily.