Black rice with cuttlefish

I like very much black rice called arroz negro. And I’m not talking about black rice called also forbidden or purple rice, which probably has just came to your mind, I’m talking about the same rice that is used in preparing e.g. paella, called bomba rice. So, why the black colour of the dish? Well, the colour is from, as black as coal and very thick, squid or cuttlefish ink which added to the rice makes it black and gives it salty and sweet taste. You can buy it as a liquid – in a little jar or in a little plastic bags (4 g each) – or as a powder – this one, however, is not as intense in flavor as the first one, so I recommend the liquid one. If not in your local store, You will find it, for sure, in one of the online shops:).

This is the second recipe for a black rice on the blog – actually the first one was for black paella, called often black rice. This one contains a cuttlefish called in Spanish sepia or jibia and is based on the recipe from Ferran AdriĆ  book: ”The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran AdriĆ ”.

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Ingredients (serves 2):

2 small or 1 big cuttlefish (200g)
600 fish broth
1 tablespoon of picada (recipe below)
2 tablespoons of sofrito (recipe below)
8 g squid ink
200 g bomba rice
2 tablespoons olive oil


15 g parsley
20 ml olive oil
0,3 g saffron
1 garlic clove
20 g peeled and toasted hazelnuts


2 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 onions (300g)
pinch of dry thyme
pinch of dry rosemary
1 small bay leaf



What is it?

This is a kind of hot and very thick sauce, used as a base, which contains mainly: onions, tomatoes and garlic – sometimes herbs are added: thyme, rosemary, coriander etc. All ingredients are chopped very finely and fried in olive oil until totally transformed into mush. Normally sofrito is prepared in cast – iron frying pan and over a very law heat.

Grind the garlic clove and onions in food processor. Transfer the mixture into a frying pan with hot olive oil in it. Fry till golden brown. Add chopped herbs, stir well and lower the heat. When the onion and garlic mixture is brown, add 1 tablespoon of tomato puree. Fry for a few minutes, add salt and the rest of the tomato puree. Fry for 30 minutes more, stirring from time to time and being careful not to burn it. 


What is it?

The Picada is one of the basic elements of Catalan cuisine. It is one of a culinary techniques used to blend and thicken juices in meat, fish or rice dishes. Normally, the picada is prepared in the mortar and contains: almonds, hazelnuts or pine nuts, bread and some liquid – olive oil or broth. Besides, saffron, parsley, chocolate or cinnamon is sometimes added. 

Put the saffron in a piece of aluminium foil and place it on a hot frying pan. Toast during 2 seconds. Put the garlic and the parsley into a food processor or a mortar. Add the saffron, the olive oil and the hazelnuts. Grind till smooth, but still with little pieces of hazelnuts.

Cut the cuttlefishes in small pieces (2 cm, more or less). Heat the olive oil and fry pieces of cuttlefishes during 2-3 minutes, over a high heat. Add the sofrito and fry over medium heat during 10 minutes (add a little bit of water if necessary). Add the rice, stir well and after 2 minutes add one ladle of hot fish broth. Continue adding the broth every time the rice absorbed almost totally the liquid. Finally, after about 5 minutes, add the ink mixed with a little bit of hot broth. Stir well, lower the heat and cook for about 17 minutes, but this time without stirring. After this time, add the picada and a little bit of salt, to taste. Stir well and after 1 minute remove from heat, cover with a lid and let it rest during 5-10 minutes.

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Enjoy !!!

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