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Arroz Negro – Black Rice – My third and definitive try! Step by step Instructions.

Rice is my favourite ingredient ever, I love it cooked in all possible ways, I could never get tired of eating: paellas, stuffed red peppers, black rice, seafood rice, stuffed calamari, fried rice… I LOVE it! This is why I’ve been trying and trying until I achieved a perfect Black rice’s cooking result!
I must say that attending to the cooking classes has been the key in achieving “perfection” ;D. I followed Iker Erauzkin’s recipe and just made some minor changes.
First, we need high quality ingredients: fresh squids, recently bought veggies, Bahia or Bomba rice. Choosing the right rice is so important here! Take a look at the size and shape. Don’t know if you can find this kind where you live, but if you want to try the recipe… this is the rice to have.
This is white gold for me ;D
Second, be patient! You will spend some time in the kitchen… therefore, make yourself comfortable: Have a cold beer or a good glass of wine, the radio or your favourite CD on and some nuts to get the energy to cook :D

Get yourself organized: This is a 3 Steps dish… 1.- cook a light fish stock, 2.- stew the squids and 3.- cook the black rice. So, first you want to have the stock started, after goes the stew and finally the rice.

The following pictures will show you the order.

arroz negro

Are you ready? Then, these will be the ingredients for 4 servings: 2 big onions, 2 leeks, 1 garlic head, a bunch of parsley, 4 ripe tomatoes, 2 pimientos choriceros or ñoras or their meat paste (3 full teaspoons), the ink of two cuttlefish (ask your fishmonger or buy it in your supermarket in small packages), olive oil, 2 liters of fish stock, 600 grs of cleaned squids, 8 shrimps and 400 grs of rice (I also measure it by handful… I used 7 this time), maldon salt and normal salt. For the fish stock: 1/4 of the head of a monk fish, 1 leek, 1 carrot, 1 onion and salt.

Pull up your sleeves and to the work!!!

  1. Start the stew: Peel and cut the onions, the leeks the garlic head (in half and don’t take peel away). Pour enough olive oil to cover all the casserole’s surface and throw the veggies in. The heat should be low. Add some salt. When the vegetables are tender and soft add the tomatoes cut in half, the bunch of parsley, the ñoras or pimientos or the 3 teaspoons of their meat and the cleaned squids with their legs.
  2. Start the fish stock: In a different pot place the cleaned monk fish head, and the veggies cleaned and cut. Cover with water (aprox 3 liters), add some salt and bring to boil. Take the white foam away and boil for maximum 30 minutes. Strain and reserve.
  3. Continue with the stew: When the squids have left all their water and the tomatoes are nearly dissolved (this could take aprox 30 to 45 minutes), add the cuttlefish ink and the 2 liters of the fish stock you just prepared. Cook with the heat low until the liquid reduces half its volume.
  4. Separate the ingredients: Strain the black liquid in a big bowl, pick the squids and reserve in a different plate and take all the veggies aside.
  5. Start the rice: Place a big pan and heat some olive oil. Fry a garlic clove in that oil and when it starts changing its colour, remove. Low heat. Take the veggies and leave their peels in the plate, as well as the garlic and parsley. Take the rest and fry in the garlic oil. Stir. Medium heat. Add the rice and mix it with the veggies. Stir for 20 seconds or so. Add some of the black liquid you have reserved and stir, when it gets absorbed by the rice, add more. High heat. This is very similar to the risotto cooking… the liquid is added little by little… if we do so we will achieve a perfect rice consistence and texture: mellow, creamy and flavourful! Add the squids to the pan too and keep on adding liquid until you get the desired rice texture. It could take 17 to 20 minutes depending on the heat, pan, rice, water used for the stock… many things!!! Just keep on stirring and taste to see. Add more salt if necessary.
  6. Clean the shrimps. Get a sauce pan with high heat and pour some salt in it. When hot, add the shrimps and cook only 30 seconds per side. Peel and leave their tail on.
  7. Prepare the dish with the black rice and the shrimp on top, or any other way you like. Sprinkle with maldon salt.

It seems a difficult dish but it’s not… it’s just a question of getting organized… so worth the effort! I wish I had the biggest pan to cook for you all♥


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10/20/2008 · 12:49 h by Ivy

I have never cooked cuttlefish before an I am tempted to try this. Your dish looks perfect and your photos are great.

10/20/2008 · 13:15 h by Peter G

I remember eating this in Espana when I visited all those years ago…the colour is what stood out Nuria!. Well worth the effort I say.

10/20/2008 · 13:26 h by Jen of A2eatwrite

I’m with you, Nuria! Rice is the BEST! Sadly, my son doesn’t like rice. I honestly don’t know whose genes he has. ;-)

I am definitely, positively making this for my husband. We have a wonderful fishmonger nearby (I’m sitting in a cafe just next to his business as I write this) and I intend to use him soon!

10/20/2008 · 13:29 h by FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels

Nuria, Bravo! We’ve discussed before our mutual love for arroz negro. Thanks for the detailed instructions. And I just love your artistic photo!! To my U.S. counterparts, Nuria’s rice looks like the short-grained variety found under many Spanish labels. Also, speaking of ‘short’, Goya makes Calamares en su tinta with salsa picante (cuttle fish in their ink hot sauce). It’s the size of a sardine can and could be an easy first step for those of you unfamiliar with this dish. It’ll give you a ‘taste’ — and then you can try Nuria’s authentic recipe.

10/20/2008 · 13:30 h by Bellini Valli

You have achieved perfection Nuria!!!!I am sure we have that rice at our local Italian grocer:D

10/20/2008 · 13:33 h by kittie

I’m glad you finally mastered this – and thank you so much for your instructions!

Beautiful and dramatic presentation!!

10/20/2008 · 15:28 h by Peter M

Nuria, the ebony coloured rice is eye-catching.

Question, when I but squid, can i take the ink and save it for a future cooking use?

10/20/2008 · 16:48 h by Núria

Ivy… go and try it… with your cooking curriculum will be easy for you and you will Loooooooove it!

Thanks Peter :D.

Hey Jen, if you end up cooking it, don’t hesitate to ask me whatever doubts you might face :D Hope you enjoy it♥

Thanks so much Joan! Sometimes is hard to make it “global”. Specially when ingredients are so local! I appreciate your help here :D

He, he… I did think so while eating it Val! I’m really hard on myself always, so when I say it was good… it does mean GOOD ;D

So glad you like it Kittie :D

Siiiii Peter! But, just 2 things. Ask your fishmonger to do so. It’s better with medium and small squids… ink could get anywhere and it’s hard to take those stains away. And also, don’t freeze, just have in the fridge. When freezing it looses most of its texture characteristics.
Peter you will love anything with ink it’s the sea in your plate.

10/20/2008 · 16:53 h by Peter M

Muchos gracias, Nuria.

10/20/2008 · 17:20 h by Maria

Sounds delicious Nuria. The color is amazing. I too have never kept the ink for cooking uses but I think I will start to.

10/20/2008 · 21:43 h by Mallory Elise

wow that’s pretty impressive. bravo!

yay! i was so excited she emailed you! right when you said that i went on skype to say “you lucky little brat MY friend is taking you to eat the best ham in the world” and she said “oh hooray–but i have to go i have a plane to catch for london that leaves in an hour!” so i dont know exaclty where she is going–but barcelona is on there somewhere!

watch out she is a scatter brain! hehe.

10/21/2008 · 7:58 h by Núria

Thanks so much Maria! So glad you like it… give it a try, you won’t be deceived :D

He, he Mallory! with her scattered brain and my absent mind and low cost english… our conversations will be kind of funny!!!

10/21/2008 · 8:12 h by Johanna

oooohhh this looks AMAZING!Quite a lot of work but I am sure it was worth it.

10/21/2008 · 12:48 h by Darius T. Williams

I’m definitely a rice fan too – and i’m loving the presentation on this. Great job!


10/22/2008 · 2:01 h by Susan from Food Blogga

That is fantastic, Nuria. I’d loved to taste it, though if truth be told, I probably don’t have the patience to make it. It’s a stunner though!

10/22/2008 · 7:55 h by Núria

Siiii Johanna! Sooooo worth! I love it! I don’t really care about the work behind :D

Thanks so much Darius! I hope I can go to your place today… I’ve been meaning to do so for long now.

Thanks so much Susan! Yes, you would love it… and it’s not that far away from your risottos!!!

10/22/2008 · 8:12 h by Emiline

I’ve eaten rice for the past 3 days, if that tells you anything. Looks great!

Beautiful presentation.

10/29/2008 · 4:44 h by [eatingclub] vancouver || js

Oh my, my, my — how fabulous that does rice look??? I’m salivating over here!

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