Spanish ‘Arroz a Banda’ Recipe

The rice ‘a banda’ recipe is typical of the coast of Alicante, although its popularity extends throughout the Spanish Levante. This rice dish was a fisherman’s recipe that was eaten separately. One part was the cooked fish, with which the broth had been prepared along with the ñoras, a variety of pepper called ‘bola’ in Alicante and Murcia. This part of the dish was served with alioli or salmorreta, a typical sauce of Alicante’s cuisine made with garlic, parsley, ñora, olive oil, tomato and lemon juice. The other ingredient was rice, in Valencian, ‘a banda’, which is the result of having been boiled with the broth from the previous fish. After knowing its origin, let’s start with the recipe of ‘arroz a banda’.


  • Bomba (medium or short-grain) rice  (600 g), fish stock (1,5 l), cuttlefish (350 g), prawns (1 kg), tomatoes (3), sweet paprika, saffron, extra virgin olive oil, salt

How to Make It:

  1. To make this rice ‘a banda’ recipe you have to start with the fish stock. For this stock we will also use prawns, which you will leave aside.
  2. Cut the cuttlefish into cubes. Continue adding olive oil in a paella pan and add the cuttlefish so that it is cooked over medium heat. After this, add the prawns that we have previously left aside from the fish stock, also cut in cubes. Mix well so that the flavours are combined.
  3. When you see that the prawns acquire colour, we add the tomato previously peeled and grated.
  4. Fry the ingredients for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the Bomba rice and stir to add the flavour of the prawns and cuttlefish. When you see that the rice also has some colour, leave it on the heat for a few minutes.
  6. For 1 cup of rice, add 2 and a half cups of water, trying not to stir the rice from this point on.
  7. It is time to add the saffron threads, which you will have toasted previously, as well as to add the sweet paprika. One teaspoon will be enough.
  8. When the rice has been soaked in the taste of the other ingredients, pour the fish stock that you had reserved.
  9. Increase the temperature until it boils, then turn it down to a medium heat. The rice will be done in about 20 minutes. If you wish to have a more brothy rice, you can turn off the fire after 15 minutes.
  10. Be careful with the salt, because the stock already has it and you are at risk of obtaining a salty rice.
  11. Turn off the fire and let it rest covered with some cloths for 5 minutes. Time to serve the rice!

Our advice

The rice ‘a banda’ recipe is one of the most flavorful rice dishes. To eat it in the most traditional way we recommend you to serve it with alioli sauce.

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