You are currently viewing The proportion of water and rice in the paella dish
  • Post published:25/01/2023
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One of the most frequent doubts when cooking paella or rice is how much water to put in the paella. Well, the truth is that there is no exact measure of water that we should add when cooking a paella, but there is an effective way to measure it: make a proportion between the water and the rice that we are going to add to the paella.

Furthermore, it will also depend on the type of paella or rice we are going to cook. As you can imagine, we should not add the same amount of water when making a Valencian paella recipe as when preparing a rice broth recipe. But don’t worry, in this post you will find the proportions of water and rice for each type of recipe.

How can the ratio of water to rice be measured?

When we talk about proportion, it can be a very relative thing. We must be able to measure or somehow calculate this proportion of water and rice for the paella.

What is the best solution? Without a doubt, using a glass. Yes, as you can hear. A glass will help us to calculate the quantities (and therefore the proportions) of rice and water that we will add to our paella.

We recommend using a normal glass, one that is neither too small nor too big. A beer mug is not suitable. Although you can use a rice cup for certain cases (which we will explain later in this post). The most suitable is a glass of the kind we can use to eat, for example.

How much water per rice in paella?

Within this section, in which we are going to explain what is the right proportion of water for a paella, we must also distinguish between a Valencian paella (or a chicken paella) and a seafood paella.

What is the reason for this distinction? Well, while in a Valencian paella we use water and we have to prepare the broth using its ingredients, in a seafood paella we are going to use broth that we have already made (or even bought), so we do not need to prepare it during the recipe. Because of this, a seafood paella will need less cooking time and, therefore, less stock.

The right proportion of water to rice in a Valencian paella

The amount of water that we should pour for each part of rice to make a paella is a ratio of 3 to 1. That is to say, 3 parts of water for 1 part of rice.

The first thing to do is to know how much rice we are going to put in our paella. We tell you how much rice to put per person in the paella in this post.

As an example, if we are going to add 4 glasses of rice to make our paella, we will have to add 12 glasses of water to our recipe. It is true that when the broth starts to boil, the amount of water will be reduced, so a good measure is to pour the water up to the screws of the paella handles at least. There is always time to add more water if we are short, although this is not recommended.

The proportion of water and stock in seafood paella

In a seafood paella we do not need as much stock as we do water in a paella, as the stock has already been made and already has the necessary flavour for our recipe. Therefore, we do not need it to boil for as long as the water in the paella. That is why the ratio between water and stock in a seafood paella is 2 to 1, i.e. 2 parts of stock to 1 part of rice.

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