March 5, 2024

Seafood Paella to feed a crowd

Posted on July 21, 2021 by in seafood

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Seafood Paella to feed a crowd

This Seafood Paella to feed a crowd is ample to feed 10 people, some might even have seconds. It is a crowd-pleaser, firstly because it is so indulgent with all the seafood. Secondly it is also a spectacular sight if you bring the huge paella pan to the table.

The Seafood Paella to feed a crowd, however is not as heavy on your wallet as you might think. Yes, it has prawns and mussels, calamari and salmon, but for about 10 guests, a braai with meat will cost a lot more.

Seafood Paella to feed a crowd

Stove top or open fire cooking?

I have tried both options. During our summer holiday at the beach, we all sit around the fire and I casually make the paella in between chatting, bantering and just being together with those I love. It is important thought that you must have access to the coals. You must be able to regulate the heat. For the initial frying of the onion and peppers, I prefer intense heat, but once I layer the rice and seafood, the heat must be low and slow.

On the stove top, it is easier to control the heat, but my paella pan is so big, it covers 3 stove plates. Also, I prefer the smoky flavors from the open fire. During winter months though, stove top is best, unless you have an indoor BBQ room.

Seafood Paella to feed a crowd


Socarrat is the Spanish term to describe the perfectly cooked, delicious crust that forms at the bottom of a paella. In our family, the soccarrat is given to the man who knows how to regulate the perfect fire for making paella…… my dad.

What rice is best to use?

Short-grain rice is the best rice to use. If you are lucky enough to find Spanish Bomba rice, it is the best option. Other rice types to use is Italian risotto (arborio) or Japanese sushi rice.

What other seafood can you use?

Seafood Paella to feed a crowd

Snoek, angelfish, yellowtail or any other firm fish can be used. I prefer a firm white fish, otherwise it just cooks away and your paella becomes mushy. If you feel like spending big bucks, crayfish is delicious in paella, also clams or crab.

Seafood Paella to feed a crowd

serves 10


45 ml olive oil

1 of each color peppers – red, yellow and green – finely chopped

1 large onions – finely chopped

4 cloves garlic – finely grated

1-2 green chilies

500 g Spanish Paella rice

10 ml sweet paprika

15 ml dry oregano

10 ml smoked paprika

1 liter fish stock

3 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

2 x 410 tins chopped tomatoes

500 g salmon fillets – skin removed and cut in small chunks

800 g – 1 kg mussels – cleaned and hair removed

1 kg calamari strips

1 kg prawns – deveined – but keep whole, it give loads of flavor to the paella.

Seafood Paella to feed a crowd

To serve

a few lemons, cut in slices

fresh parsley – finely chopped

warm serviettes

Seafood Paella to feed a crowd


Heat the paella pan and add the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until caramelized. Add the peppers and garlic to the onion and sauté until soft. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Add more oil if needed and fry the seafood in batches, just NOT THE SALMON. Remove the seafood from the pan and keep warm. Add the sauteéd vegetables to the pan as well as the spices and the 2 tins chopped tomatoes. Cook, while stirring for a few minutes, just to reduce the tomatoes. Add the rice, stock and bay leaves. Cover the pan with foil and reduce the heat. Cook for about 15 minutes without stirring until the rice is cooked and most liquid is absorbed.

Add all the seafood on top, salmon cubes last. Season with salt and pepper if needed. It you need to add a little stock at this time, add a little. Cover again and cook for 5-10 minutes. Just enough to create steam to cook the salmon. After ten minutes, remove the foil, if there is anymore liquid, let it to cook away, even if you have to increase the heat slightly.

Serve with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

Seafood Paella to feed a crowd

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