Paella In A Chinese Wok (Delicious Spanish One Pot Rice Meal)

Paella cooking in a Chinese Wok 😀

Happy Saturday, dear friends 😀

Whenever I don’t know what to cook for dinner or I don’t really want to spend too much time cooking, I would come up with simple, “one-pot” or “one-dish” meals – like Chinese Claypot Chicken Rice, Spaghetti, Fried Noodles, etc – just one dish with all the carbohydrates, meat and vegetables in it! Easy! 😆

A few days back, I was watching a cooking show that featured delicious cuisine from Spain and I was inspired to cook Paella, a Spanish rice dish, for dinner. Paella is a typical Valencian rice dish from Spain and the name Paella is the Valencian name for “frying pan.” But as you can see from the title of this post, mine is actually a Spanish rice dish cooked in a Chinese wok – just for the fun of it! 😆

I had a quick look in my refrigerator to see what ingredients I have and I was all set to go in cooking this exotic rice dish for my family. The 3 key ingredients in Paella is rice, saffron and olive oil…. but if you don’t have saffron, you can substitute it with some sweet paprika and 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric powder for the yellow colour.

I am happy to say that my hubby and children loved this rice dish very much – it was very flavourful and delicious, and therefore, I hope you will give this recipe a try. It is really easy to prepare and I have simplified the recipe below for you with some pictures 😉 –

Recipe for Paella (serves 8 persons)

Ingredients –

Cut into desired sizes – tomatoes, yellow and red sweet bell peppers/capsicums, french beans

2 sliced large onions, 2 tbsps saffron (if don’t have this, replace with 1 tbsp paprika and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder), 1 tbsp paprika, and 6 cloves of garlic, chopped

Some prawns – washed and seasoned with 1 tsp salt and some pepper

Some cubed salmon – seasoned with 1 tsp salt and some pepper

1/2 a chicken – cut into bite sizes, seasoned with 1 tbsp salt and some pepper

5 1/2 cups rice

2 chicken stock cubes

3 tbsps salt

2 tbsps sugar

lots of freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

(* optional on standby, required during cooking – an additional 1/2 cup or more water or stock)

Method –

1) After preparing the seafood, meat and vegetables like above – wash the rice and then measure the required water that is needed to cook the amount of rice.

2) Separate the rice and the water. Set both aside. (It is even more delicious if you have fresh chicken or fish stock and you substitute the amount of water with the stock. I was cooking with what I have at that time)

3) In a wok, heat up the cup of olive oil.

4) Tip in the chopped garlic. After stirring until they are aromatic and slightly golden in colour, add in the sliced onions.

5) After 2 minutes, put in the chicken pieces and stir for about 3 minutes, to seal in the juices.

6) Pour in the water (or stock) that you have measured earlier to cook the rice, and put in the saffron, paprika, tomatoes and bell peppers.

7) Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 3 minutes to let all the flavours infuse.

8 ) Add the rest of the ingredients – rice, salmon, prawns, chicken stock cubes, salt, sugar and pepper.

9) When they come to a boil, check the taste to see if additional salt is required. The liquid should taste more salty than usual as by the time the rice is cook, the rice will balance out the saltiness and be just right.

10) Lower the heat to medium low to start cooking the rice. Be sure to stir thoroughly to prevent the rice from sticking at the bottom.

11) Cover the wok tightly (I put a weight on the cover) for about 2 minutes and then remove the cover to stir the rice again – we want to make sure the the rice at the bottom gets to the top and vice-versa, to ensure the rice cook evenly with the liquid. Put back the cover for another 2 minutes.

12) Put in the french beans now – this is so they don’t get overcooked and they are still crunchy to the bite when the Paella is eaten.

13) If you think the liquid is drying up too fast and the rice may not get fully cooked, add in a bit at a time the water or stock on standby. Stir to mix thoroughly the ingredients.

14) Repeat step (11) until almost all the liquid is absorbed by the rice. From the picture above, it will be about 4 more minutes before the next step ….

15) Now, turn off the fire and leave the wok covered tightly to let the rice finished cooking, say about 15 minutes more. (I used this time to clean up the kitchen and have a shower).

16) Serve hot with a good shake of Parmesan cheese and black pepper on the rice.

Voila! We now have a famous Spanish rice dish to serve our family! Bon Appetit! 😀

My dinner – a plate of Paella with some sliced Japanese cucumbers on the side 😀


6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    yen1908 said,

    Good morning to you, choesf

    Wow, what a lovely dish! something like my O Tak Perng har! 🙂 Good idea to have salmon together with chicken but will leave out the prawns. Will try it next time! Another option is to have long beans instead of french beans!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    take care


  2. 2

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Long time no see, my dear yen! 😀

    It is good to hear from you and thank you for your suggestions. Haha 😆 , guess what? Your O Tak Perng inspired me to cook another one pot rice last night – called Nasi Briyani, which had chicken, briyani spices, long beans, potatoes and onions…garnished with chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried shallots. I didn’t feel like going out to “tah pau” food and simply cooked with what I had in my fridge! 🙄 😆

    Good night and sweet dreams!

    Love and hugs,

    choesf 😀


  3. 3

    digital_foodie said,

    I see you like occidental ingredients that
    I would leave out myself, very flavourful in view of the unshelled prawns used as well, might have a go at making myself, love kiam pn’g in all its forms and manifestations, enough said. BTW love nasi briyani too but don’t like using unhealthy saturated-fat ghee that is called for in the authentic dish which ghee Indians/Muslims would use in their preparation of the dish.

    Wonder if Bilal and Kassims are still around in KL.


    • 4

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear digital foodie 😀

      I think Bilal is still around… I have photos taken of my Kiam P’ng last year but didn’t get down to writing about it. 😆

      Happy Cooking!

      choesf 😀


  4. 5

    Carlos said,

    You never mix rice with onions… it makes the rice grains get ‘bland’…

    A spaniard 😉


    • 6

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear A Spaniard 😀

      Thank you for your advice about mixing rice with onions…I will keep that in mind. 😉

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀


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