I initially wanted to tackle something Filipino as my way of helping propagate Filipino cuisine into the culinary mainstream. However, I’m bound by the challenge rules to pick something from a different culture. I also wanted to try something Asian, like Japanese or Vietnamese, but either is still within my comfort zone. So, after a bit of soul-searching, I finally decided to do something Spanish-this paella Valenciana.
The Spaniards had a lot of influence on the Philippines because it was colonized for more than a hundred years. Spanish cuisine is one of those influences.
Filipino-Style Paella ValencianaPrint Recipe
- 1/2 kilogram of chicken, cut into small pieces
- Juice from 3 pieces of calamansi or 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/4 kilogram of cooked ham
- 315 grams of chorizo de bilbao
- 2 pieces of red bell pepper, one piece diced, the other piece cut into strips
- 2 pieces of green bell pepper, one piece diced, the other piece cut into strips
- 1/2 kilogram of medium-sized shrimps
- 2 cups of tomato sauce
- 3 cups of Calrose or Jasmine rice
- 6 cups of stock (made from the heads of the shrimps)
- A pinch of saffron threads
- 2 teaspoons of oregano
- 1 tablespoon of Spanish paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon wedges
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- Mussels, clams, or squid (optional)
- In a bowl, mix together about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, paprika, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper. Add in calamansi juice. Stir in the chicken pieces to coat. Cover, then refrigerate.
- In a paella pan, pour in the olive oil and heat. Sear the chicken pieces until they are cooked. Put them on the circular edge of the pan as you make a way in the centre for the rest of the ingredients. Drop the chopped onions and garlic. Saute until they’re tender. Add in the ham, chorizo, bell pepper, and green peas. Stir well.
- Next, add the tomato sauce. Put in rice and stock-keeping the 1:2 (cups) ratio, and mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer everything while occasionally stirring for 25 minutes. Add the saffron threads and shrimps but do not put all the shrimps in. Set aside some for garnishing. Check the rice once in a while to see if you need to add more stock. Stir each time and make sure that the rice isn’t sticking to the pan.
- When the rice is cooked, arrange the shrimps you set aside and the bell pepper strips. Cover and cook until the shrimps are done. Serve with lemon wedges and slices of hard-boiled eggs.