Seafood paella is a wonderful Spanish dish. It can also serve as an entertaining activity for your guests. Prepare it on a barbeque or on an open fire in a park or in the garden. Let your guests participate in the cooking or they can watch and chat away. They will be rewarded with an excellent deep taste and by keeping an eye on a few tricks, the result is fail proof!

the art of making seafood paella

Seafood paella is made in a shallow, wide open metal pan, which requires a much longer cooking time than cooking in a smaller, closed pan. But the reward will be that flavor will be more intense as water evaporates and the broth and cooking juices concentrate.  I always keep home made fish broth ready (still frozen is fine).  And when you follow the right sequence of adding ingredients and ensure nothing burns, (browning is fine),  the result is fail safe.  A slow cook is best, it really takes time to get the rice ready, but the reward is immense!

Special equipment

paella pan

wooden spatula

barbeque or wood fire with pan support

Seafood Paella ©️ Nel Brouwer-van den Bergh

Seafood Paella

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 6


  • paella pan



  • 1-2 quarts (L) fish broth frozen is fine


  • 3 cups rice or paella rice
  • 2 large brown onions cut in medium sized pieces
  • 2-4 cloves garlic cut in slices
  • 2 green or red peppers cut is parts
  • 1 cup peas frozen is fine (optional)
  • 1 cup corn kernels optional
  • 2 cups of non-stringy green beans optional, cut in inch size pieces
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • water as back-up
  • 12-24 shrimps (in shell or peeled)
  • 12 large mussels optional
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) salmon filet
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) white fish filet codd, halibut, lake fish
  • 8 scallops


Fish broth

  • Please refer to the fish broth recipe in Alternatively use bottled fish broth or clam juice with some water.

The paella dish

  • Heat up the barbeque or your fire. You need coals for a better distributed heat. This may take 45 min to 1 h.
  • Place the paella pan on the fire.
  • Add halve of the olive oil and add the onions pieces. fry them on the hottest section of the pan, until they color. Thereafter move them to a cooler section of the pan
  • Add more olive oil on the hotter section of the pan and add all the rice. Fry the rice gently (as making a risotto) for several minutes. Then move to a cooler section of the pan
  • Add the beans and fry them softly for a few minutes
  • Then add the bell peppers and peas or corn. Also fry them for a few minutes. You may still stir the entire mixture.
  • Also add the spices now
  • Then add the broth in parts. If the fire is still very hot, adding frozen broth may help to temper the pan's temperature down. Try not to stir anymore after the broth has been added.
  • Let the contents boil very softly. Check now and then to ensure there is no rice getting burned, but a browning is generally appreciated
  • When the rice gets underway in cooking, add the seafood. Let the seafood get cooked.


Method: pan frying
Food allergy & intolerance information: seafood
Keyword fish broth, paella, seafood


Leftovers can be easily stored for next day in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze it for a later date.

As for the rice: better not to wash as the starch cover will help to bind more juices. Bomba rice or other short grain rice is best.

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