Vegan paella – It has a gaudy and somewhat high external appearance, but it is extremely simple to make. It’s all about learning to cook perfect rice using only visual cues. If you have a paella wok, just dust it off and you’re ready to go. If not, use a regular wok. I tried to find a paella dish but couldn’t find anything suitable. I found one that was too large for my needs and another that was teflon-coated, which I didn’t like, so I used my stainless steel pan, which worked just fine. Finally, a wok with a better tight fitting lid, because resting the rice is the key to cooking time.
Vegan paella Ingredients
- 3 shiitake mushrooms, dried
- 10 cm / 4′′ by 20 cm / 8′′ kombu
- one carrot
- 1 celery sprig
- 1 cube vegan stock (optional, but I like to add it)
- fennel trimmings (optional)
- offcuts of parsley
- 1 vegan stock cube (if not using homemade stock)
- 30 mL / 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 200 g / 7 oz ripe tomato (1 large), peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 80 mL / 1/3 cup vegan white wine
- 1 Romano pepper, sliced
- 200 g / 7 oz / 1 slightly heaped cup paella/bomba rice (arborio does good enough job too)
- a generous pinch of saffron, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
- freshly ground black pepper, to serve
Optional Vegan paella toppings
- 200 g / 7 oz sliced zucchini / courgette
- 1 fennel, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
- 10 halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup peas or broad beans, cooked (or a mixture of both)
- 8 sliced olives
- 4 charred artichoke heart halves, cut in half
- garnished with fresh parsley (optional)
- Put all of the ingredients for making your own stock in a pot with about 750 milliliters of water. Set aside after 45 minutes of simmering under a cover. Dissolve a vegan stock cube in 500 milliliters, or 2 cups, of water instead.
- In a paella pan or another pan with a thin bottom, heat 2 teaspoons of oil. Fry the onion for about 5 minutes until it becomes soft.
- Stirring constantly, add garlic and fry until soft and fragrant.
- Wine, red pepper, chopped tomato, salt, smoked paprika, and
- It will take about ten minutes for the tomatoes to break down and the red pepper to soften.
- Char the courgette slices, fennel wedges, and cherry tomatoes on a heated, lightly oiled grilling pan while the paella is simmering. You might need to work in sections for that, depending on the size of your pan. Season and reserve
- Incorporate the rice into the mixture of tomato and red pepper.
- Simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, then add 500 milliliters (or 2 cups) of stock. If the rice appears dry after 10 minutes, add a little more stock or water to cover it with a thin layer of moisture.
- Cover the paella dish tightly with a lid or kitchen foil and turn off the heat. Let the rice rest for 10 to 15 minutes. It will use its own steam to finish cooking.
- Add artichokes, olives, charred vegetables, peas or broad beans, chopped parsley, and olives to the top. Add some lemon wedges and a good pinch of black pepper to your dish.