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Aug 18, 2011 10:55 AM

Making Paella- don't have the proper rice- so long grain or short grain?

I'm wanting to try my hand at paella again but I don't have the proper rice and don't have access to a store that carries it. So would you go with a long grain or a short grain rice?

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  1. Use short grain rice for paella. Always short grain. If you can't find Bomba use Aborio, etc. I was just reading an article that examines what the proper/authentic ingredients and procedure are to making great paella. My paella is sadly lacking so I'm going to study this...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      Unless you speak Spanish on the west side of the Atlantic, then use your favorite long grain. :) For one reason or other, Hispanics in the Americas prefer a long grain, even when they make their version of paella.

      Yes, in Spain they prefer a short-medium grain rice, though the main concern is that it absorbs the flavors well. Italian risotto rice (e.g. Arborio) works ok, since paella isn't stirred to release the starches.

    2. I've used arborio in the past and as Gio said it works very well. Are you making a traditional or seafood Paella?

      1. I always seem to have that dilemma, so I just use Arborio rice for my Paella. Comes out wonderful.

        1. I used Basmati....the paella comes out loose not gooey risotto like. Not sure but I've read it shouldn't be risotto like but I've seen some where it is.

          Make it the way you like it is my opinion. Loose like biryani with basmati or saucey creamy with risotto. You choose.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

            Like others here, I've used risotto rices like arborio or carnaroli, which I understand are similar to Spanish paella rices. But because paella is not cooked the way risotto is - no constant stirring - paella made with risotto rice does not have the texture of a creamy risotto. It's the stirring, as I understand it, that releases the starches and gives risotto its charcteristic texture. The paella I made with risotto rice didn't have a risotto texture, but it was certainly different than pilafs, etc. made with basmati.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              I'm making traditional with chicken (not rabbit as truly traditional) and some seafood.
              I don't want it creamy like risotto but I don't want it dry like long grain. Too me Basmati is the wrong flavor, I love Basmati but can't imagine that flavor with Paella, maybe I'm wrong.

              Goi, I will take a look at the article you posted. Thanks!

          2. I think I've posted this link before - it's one of most detailed sites describing different types of rice