All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Sakana to takenoko no paeriya / paella with fish and bamboo shoot

Fish, bamboo shoot and asparagus are grilled for an extra toasty note -- a great springtime paella!


(Serves 4)

300 cc arborio rice
250-300 g white fish (290 g rockcod in photo)
120-150 g takenoko no mizuni boiled bamboo shoot (120g in photo)
8 asparagus (only top 10-15 cm are used; save the rest for another use)
2 tbsp olive oil (not in photo)

600 cc chicken or vegetable stock
1 medium/large clove garlic
4-5 stems parsley
Pinch saffron
1 tsp paprika

1 lemon (for serving; not in photo)


Cut fish to obtain 8 relatively thick 4-5 cm square pieces.
Cut the rest into 2-3 cm pieces.

Grill or broil the 8 pieces in oven until top surface is lightly golden.
Set aside.


Cut asparagus so that each stem is half the diameter of the pan (approx 12-13 cm here). Save the rest for another use.
Cut bamboo shoot crosswise into two or three, and slice 3-5 mm thick (thicker with top part and thinner with bottom part).
Peel and smash garlic.


Wrap saffron in foil, and toast on low heat in a small frying pan.

When aromatic, remove from heat.


In the meantime, prepare parley + garlic paste.
In a pan, heat olive oil, put garlic and parsley, and saute.
When parsley becomes tender, transfer to mortar.

Continue to saute garlic until light brown.
Transfer to mortar and mash with parsley.


Add saffron and parsley + garlic paste to warm stock.


Grill bamboo shoot and asparagus.
First focus on bamboo shoot (asparagus can be placed around bamboo shoot slices while cooking).
Remove bamboo slices as they brown slightly.


To the pan used for sauteing parsley and garlic, add bamboo shoot slices, and saute for a few minutes on medium low heat.

Add paprika, and saute for another few minutes.


Add rice, and saute on medium high heat until rice becomes somewhat translucent, 7-10 minutes.


Meanwhile, heat stock as necessary (you want to add hot stock in the next step).


When rice is somewhat translucent, pour hot stock, and cook while gently stirring for 5 minutes.


Add fresh fish pieces, and stir.


Place the 8 grilled fish pieces along the edge of pan in equal intervals.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes.


Check rice, and if it has absorbed moisture, raise heat to medium high.
When rice starts to pop it is about to burn; uncover, place asparagus between fish pieces, turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.


Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve.

  • Slightly fatty white-fleshed fish works better than lean fish such as cod or sole. If only lean fish is available, aioli sauce is a nice touch when serving the paella.
  • Bamboo shoot slices should be sliced thinner toward the bottom, as the bottom part is denser and tougher.
  • Grilling or roasting fish, bamboo shoot and asparagus is optional, but is highly recommended to achieve a good toasty note and aroma as well as contrasting textures.
  • Slightly later in the season, white fish (or calamari), bamboo shoot and fava beans is a great combination.

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