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Easy Paella-Inspired Rice Casserole

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    With bold and exotic flavors and loads of seafood, this Paella-Inspired Rice Casserole is easy and fun to make and incredibly delicious!

    Easy Paella Recipe |

    There was an 8.9 earthquake in Japan last night and I want to thank everyone for your concerns. I just talked to my mother on the phone (5am there) after hours of not being able to reach her. She informed me that my family is okay. My friends are also okay although I haven’t got response from all of them.

    I debated if I should talk about food when you are probably worrying about me and my family, but I wanted to take this opportunity to remind all of you to prepare an emergency kit or update your kit if it has expired. It’s better to be well-prepared than not being prepared at all. I pray for Japan to recover from this natural disaster soon.

    Easy Paella Recipe |

    Once in a while I enjoy cooking non-Japanese food, like paella. The recipe I share may not be labeled authentic because I use Japanese rice instead of Bomba or Calasparra rice. However this recipe allows you to prep the paella using the existing ingredients that are already in the pantry. Like me who once in a while cooks non-Japanese meals, but I don’t want to go out to buy ingredients I typically don’t use. The cooking time is based on Japanese rice I used and the method is my original. If you don’t have a paella pan, you can use a large stainless-steel skillet instead. You don’t need to buy a paella pan unless you cook paella often. I use my favorite red cast-iron braiser, which is supposedly not a perfect pan for paella because it retains too much heat. But it always worked fine for me and I like that I can bring it directly to the table and the presentation looks lovely. Enjoy!

    Paella on a white plate.

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    0 from 0 votes
    Paella with chicken thighs, squid, shrimps, manila clams, and asparagus in a pot.
    Easy Paella-Inspired Rice Casserole
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Total Time
    5 hrs 10 mins

    With bold and exotic flavors and loads of seafood, this Paella-Inspired Rice Casserole is easy and fun to make and incredibly delicious!

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: mixed paella, seafood paella
    Servings: 4
    Author: Namiko Chen
    • 1 tsp Spanish saffron (I buy from Trader Joe’s)
    • 3 tsp water (warm)
    • 3 cups chicken stock/broth
    • cups uncooked Japanese short-grain rice (1½ cups = 350 ml or 2 rice cooker cups)
    • Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
    • ½ cup white wine
    • ½ red bell pepper (sliced)
    • ½ orange bell pepper (sliced)
    • 2 chicken thighs (cut into small pieces)
    • ¾ lb sliced squid (rinsed)
    • 8 Tiger shrimp (uncooked, rinsed) (I prefer keeping the shell for retaining more flavor)
    • ¾ lb manila clams (de-gritted)
    • 8-10 asparagus
    • Sea salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 green onions/scallions (chopped)
    • Lemon (to serve)
    1. 4 hours prior to cooking, de-grit the clams.  Gather all the ingredients.
      Paella ingredients on top of a granite countertop
    2. hours prior to cooking, soak saffron in warm water and set aside.
      saffron soaking in a glass bowl
    3. Preheat oven to 425F. In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil and set aside.
      chicken stock in a metal pan on top of stove
    4. Heat the oil in a paella pan (I use a cast iron braiser) on medium heat and add rice. Stirring constantly for 5 minutes, or until the rice is translucent.
      rice stir fry in a cast iron pan on top of stove
    5. Add garlic and stir for a couple of minutes.
      garlic added to rice in a cast iron pan
    6. Then add white whine. Let all the wine evaporated.
      white wine added to rice and garlic in a cast iron pan
    7. Add the chicken stock and mix well.
      chicken stock added to a cast iron pan
    8. Add saffron including saffron water and bring it to a boil.
      saffron added to mixture inside metal pan
    9. After boiling, place bell peppers on top of rice.
      bell pepper placed inside liquid in a metal pan
    10. Transfer the pan into the oven and cook at 425F for 10 minutes.
      cast iron pan in oven
    11. After 10 minutes, take out the pan and quickly place the chicken, squid, tiger shrimp, manila clams, and asparagus on top of rice and bell peppers. Put the pan back into the oven.
      seafood placed inside a metal pan
    12. Cook for 20 minutes. After it’s done, take out the pan from the oven and sprinkle salt, black pepper, and green onions. Serve with lemon wedges if you like.
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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