Spanish Black Seafood Rice (Paella Negra)

A truly mouth-watering black Paella (or Arroz Negro) cooked with squid ink and loaded with juicy seafood. You will love this magic combination and the delicate flavour of the sea.

I first fell in love with squid ink several years ago when tasted a plate of homemade black risotto in a thick, inky-black sauce in Bali, a picturesque fishing village on the south of the island. After surfing my hubby bought some fresh seafood right from the local fishermen boat, that morning they caught cuttlefish. Its silky, salty flavour made an incredible impression; it’s one of those food memories that will forever be in my mind.

Learn the main rules for the perfect Paella in my step-by-step Paella Guide.


4 Serves

  •  1 cup bomba rice (200g)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup chopped chorizo
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3-4 cups hot fish stock
  • 1 tbsp squid ink
  • 250g squid tubes, cut into rings
  • 250g cleaned  baby octopuses (thawed, if you use frozen)
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (thawed)
  • olive oil
  • chopped parsley
  • lemon wedges

+ Paella pan (30cm)


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large paella pan over medium-high heat (I use 30 cm paella pan). Add onion and chorizo, saute about 10 minutes until onion is soft. Add rice and mix until the grains are coated in oil. Combine hot fish stock and squid ink, mix well. Add 2/3 of hot fish stock to the rice. Season with salt and pepper. Stir once, then leave until it starts simmering, then turn the heat down to medium. Do not stir! Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot over high heat, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Turn the heat off and dump the octopuses into the pot. Let sit for 1 minute then drain immediately. Rinse with cold water.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and halved tomatoes, saute for a few minutes until garlic is soft, but not brown. Add squid rings and cook for 1 minute. Add white wine and octopuses, toss and cook for another 1 minute. Then, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Do a taste test to see if the rice is cooked and seasoned well – it should be firm but cooked. If it is too firm for your taste, add remaining stock, sprinkle with green peas and keep cooking.
Place cooked seafood on the top of the black Paella and reheat it. Turn off the heat. Cover paella pan with the foil and let to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot with lemon wedges.


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