Thursday, August 22, 2013

Seafood Paella

I bought a Happycall Pan (HCP) recently.  Just the basic slim version.  Within a few weeks, I have used the pan to cook a variety of dishes and was quite impressed with it.   The non-stick HCP makes cooking a breeze - no worries of food sticking at the bottom, and the silicon-sealed edge really helps to speed up cooking.  

Last night, I used the pan to try another dish that I have not cooked for a long time - Seafood Paella 《海鲜烩饭》.  My seafood paella may not be the authentic version - as there is no saffron in it, I used the Chinese long grain rice instead of the short grain rice used for making paella, and I used a HCP instead of the flat paella pan.  But all these do not matter, cos the paella is so delicious!  Every grain of rice is perfectly cooked and flavourful, and the seafood retains the freshness and moisture.

Here are the ingredients that I used for the paella:
(serves 3)

5 medium-sized prawns
2 large scallops, sliced into half horizontally
1 piece of fish fillets, cut into bite-sized portion
1 handful of baby squids, or 1 big squid

1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tomato, cut into small cubes
1/2 bell pepper (I used 2 baby bell peppers instead)
1/2 cup green peas

1 cup of white rice, plus a handful more
1.5 cups of stock (may not used up all the stock)
2 to 3 tbsp thick tomato paste*
Salt/pepper to taste

1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
Red chilli
Chopped dill

* I precooked my tomato paste using garlic, onion, tomato puree, streaky bacon, sun-dried tomatoes and dried herbs.  Stir fry the ingredients in a pan till aromatic, add some water and simmer till thickened.  Alternatively, you can use canned tomato paste or tomato puree to cook the rice (but do not use tomato ketchup sauce as the taste is different).

Ingredients for cooking paella

Prepare the seafood:
1) Wash and pat dry the prawns on kitchen paper.  Rub a pinch of salt all over the prawns.  Heat up the HCP over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil into the pan.  When the pan is hot, add in the prawns and grill on both sides till the prawns turn light pinkish in colour.  Remove and set aside.

2) Marinate the fish slices, scallops and squids with a small pinch of salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons of olive oil.  Set aside.

Wash the rice and drain in a sieve.  Previously, I soaked the rice briefly before cooking in the HCP as I was worried that the rice may not be cooked thoroughly.  But I found that soaking is not necessary with a HCP.

Stock for the paella:
You can use either packet stock or homemade stock.  I made a simple homemade stock from ginger, garlic and prawn shells.  Heat up a stockpot over high heat, add in some oil and stir fry some prawn shells till aromatic.  Add in ginger slices and garlic.  Lastly pour in water, bring to boil and simmer on medium low heat for about 20 minutes.  Leftover stock can be stored in the freezer for future use.


1) After grilling the prawns (and set aside), add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil into the pan.  As the pan was already heated up while grilling the prawns, you can now add the chopped onion to the pan and stir fry lightly.  Add in the chopped celery, tomatoes and stir well to combine.

2) Stir in the rice and tomato paste.  Add the stock and salt/pepper (to taste).  I will pour 3/4 of the stock first, stir and gradually add the remaining when the rice has fully absorbed the liquid and still looks dry. This prevents adding too much liquid which cause the rice to be too soft or soggy.  Close the lid and simmer on medium-low heat for a few minutes (around 4 to 6 minutes).  After 5 minutes, open the lid and check the rice to see if you need to add the remaining stock.  

3) When the rice has absorbed the stock (still wet at the bottom of the pan), add in the marinated fish, scallops and squids.  Close the lid and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. 

4) Open the lid and arrange the grilled prawns, bell peppers into the pan.  Lastly, add in the green peas (just sprinkle over randomly).  Close the lid and cook for another minute and turn off the heat.  Keep the lid on for another 3 to 5 minutes.

5) Garnish the paella with lemon wedges, chopped dill and chilli.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the rice and enjoy!

See the thin layer of crispy bits at the bottom?


  1. Wow...I would love to give a try..Simply inviting!

  2. Thanks for featuring this!! I have been contemplating if I shld order a Paella pan, as I heard it provides even cooking for the rice. haha... I think I can now try out with my HCP pan now!! May I ask do you need to shift the pan often during cooking?

    1. If you cook paella often, it makes sense to invest in a proper pan, else the HCP gives good result too. Yes, I do shift the pan a little to the left, right, front, back, just in case the heat is uneven.

  3. I love to cook "one pot rice" in Happycall. Fast and hassle free. Yours look very very appealing.

    Happy trying our your Happycall with different dishes.

    Muah chee and peanut pancake (mee jian kueh) is a must. hehe :)

    1. Ha... HCP is Masak Masak for adults! Yes, I try peanut pancakes with HCP, very nice.

  4. 哇,这个有很吸引我咧


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