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Spanish Shrimp and Fish with Rice Recipe - Arroz con Pescado y Gambas


Spanish Shrimp and Fish with Rice Recipe - Arroz con Pescado y Gambas

Spanish Shrimp and Fish with Rice Recipe - Arroz con Pescado y Gambas

(c) Lisa Sierra 2013 Licensed to About.com Inc.
Wet or soupy rice dishes make great main courses when combined with pieces of fish and/or shrimp. This seafood rice recipe uses onion, garlic, tomatoes, paprika and saffron to add flavor and a pretty color to the rice. It is a simple dish, ready in about 30 minutes.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 Servings


  • 2 fish fillets (gilthead bream or a cabracho are good choices) with head
  • 1 lb (500 gr) raw shrimp, 20-25 lb
  • 1 large yellow or white onion
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 ñora pepper or other dried sweet pepper
  • 10 oz (300 gr) bomba rice or Calrose rice (or other short to medium grain rice)
  • 1-3 cups water, as needed
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 3 threads Spanish saffron
  • optional garnish - 2-3 sprigs flat leaf parsley


If available in your area, purchase raw, unpeeled shrimp with the heads on. The heads will give rice more flavor. Peel the shrimp and remove heads, and reserve them for stock.

Prepare the fish stock. If using a whole small fish, such as a gilthead bream (dorada), after cleaning, save the head and back bone to make the stock. Place 4 cups of water into a medium size sauce pan. Add the fish heads and bones, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. (If using prepared fish stock, heat in a sauce pan.) Add shrimp heads and shells to water and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then, strain the stock to remove fish bones and shrimp shells.

While stock is simmering, finely chop the onion and two cloves of garlic. Place the two tomatoes in a blender, food processor and crush.

De-seed the dried pepper or ñora and cut into 1-inch pieces. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into a large, heavy-bottom frying pan and heat on medium. When oil is hot, add the pepper and stir occasionally. The pepper will "scent" the oil as it is heated. Remove and discard the pepper after 3-4 minutes in the hot oil.

Add chopped onions, garlic and tomatoes to hot oil and make a sofrito by sauteing briefly 3-4 minutes. Add saffron threads, crushing between your fingers. Then, sprinkle in the sweet Spanish paprika. Add more oil if needed.

Add in the rice, stirring to coat with the oil. Then, add fish stock and more water if needed. Simmer rice uncovered for approximately 15 minutes, adding more water if necessary. While rice is cooking, cut fish into 2 to 3-inch pieces. Add fish and shrimp to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, until all are cooked. Garnish with flat leaf parsley.

Optional: While rice is cooking, peel the rest of the head of garlic. Pour enough olive oil into a small frying pan and heat on low to medium. Add peeled garlic cloves to the frying pan and "poach" in oil for 15 minutes. Serve alongside rice.

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