Last year I was in a restaurant in Cebu with my family, we ordered paella and my father suddenly turned nostalgic. He told me this was the kind of paella my grandmother used to make. Seriously Pa???? I have spent a lifetime traveling and collaborating with cooks and chefs in search for the perfect paella. My version and specialty is a very complicated one. Papa loves my paella but it was Lola’s sticky rice “Arroz Valenciana” that brought back memories.
Grandma taught me how to cook Arroz Valenciana when she was alive. During her time ingredients were not easily accessible. It was hard to get saffron, thus annatto and tomato sauce were substituted for color. Glutinous rice was mixed with regular rice and cooked in a rice cooker. This easier version is a cross between a jambalaya and paella. I must admit this recipe is still very popular in provincial town fiestas.
My father is old, so this New Year I cooked Abuela’s version of Arroz Valencia. After all, the joy of cooking is making other people happy. A blessed New Year to you all!
500 g Malagkit, glutinous rice
500 g Long grain rice
6 cups Water
1 tbsp Chicken powder
¼ cup Annatto oil (cook seeds under low heat in olive oil for about a minute, strain)
250 g Chorizo (Purefoods), sliced
2 tbsp Onions, minced
2 tbsp Garlic, minced
250 g Pork, sliced
250 g Chicken (Magnolia), sliced
500 ml Tomato sauce
500 ml Chicken stock
3 tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
500 g Mussels, cleaned and steamed
300 g Prawns, steamed
100 g Bell peppers, diced and lightly sautéed
100 g Green peas, cooked
3 pcs Hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 pc Lemon, cut to wedges
- Wash malagkit rice and long grain rice together. Cook in a rice cooker with water and chicken powder until done. Set aside.
- In a wok fry chorizo with annatto oil. Remove chorizo and set aside. Sauté onions and garlic in rendered fat. Add pork and cook for two minutes, add chicken until cooked. Remove meat and set aside.
- In the same pan add tomato sauce and let simmer. Slowly add chicken stock and let the sauce reduce. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir in rice and mix until the grains absorb the tomato sauce. Mix chorizo, pork, and chicken. Cook for another 5 minutes under medium low heat.
- Transfer rice to a paella pan or serving dish. Top with mussels, prawns, bell peppers, green peas, hard boiled eggs, and lemon wedges.