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


Ebi no paeriya / paella with prawns

A party paella with botan-ebi spot shrimp at the height of their season! The broth is also made with spot shrimp, infusing the rice with the yummy flavor of shrimp at their best.

(15"/38 cm paella pan; 6+ servings)

For broth
(to obtain 1200 cc broth)

Heads (and shells) of 15+ botan-ebi spot shrimp or 30+ coon shrimp
150 cc white wine
1500 cc water (not in photo)
1 carrot
1/2 large or 2/3 medium onion
1 bay leaf (2 small bay leaves in photo)
1 tsp salt (for a reduced-sodium version, use 2 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt)
Pinch saffron
2 tbsp olive oil (to saute shrimp heads and shells; not in photo)

For paella

400 cc paella/Bomba rice
1/4 large or 1/3 medium/large onion
3-4 cloves garlic
2 roma tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp paprika
4 tbsp olive oil (not in photo)
1200 cc broth (from above; not in photo)

(For topping & garnish)
12 botan-ebi spot shrimp
10 asparagus
7-8 pods soramame fava beans (approx. 30 beans)
Several sprigs Italian parsley
2+ lemons


First prepare broth.

In a pot, heat olive oil, put shrimp heads (and shells) while oil is still cool, and saute until they turn pink and aromatic.

Crush heads with spatula while sauteing.


Pour white wine, and reduce on medium heat by at least half.


When wine is reduced, add water.

Cut carrot and onion into several sections, and add to pot.

Add bay leaves, and bring to boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low (quietly bubbling), and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.


Wrap saffron in foil, and slowly toast for a few minutes on very low heat in a frying pan, flipping the packet once or twice.

Remove from heat, and grind in a mortar.

Take some hot broth to saffron mortar, and let sit several minutes to infuse.


Strain broth into another pot.

(Measure 1200 cc as necessary. At left I am using a pot that also works as a measuring cup.)

Press shrimp shells with spatula to get most of liquid.
Add salt (or shiokoji salted rice malt).

Put saffron broth into the broth pot.

Shrimp broth is ready.


While reducing shrimp broth, start main preparation of paella.

Cut tomatoes in half, slice onion, and finely chop garlic.

Grate tomatoes, discarding skin.


In paella pan, heat olive oil, and saute spot shrimp (deveined without cutting) on medium heat while gently crushing heads, until shrimp turn pink.

Transfer shrimp to a bowl or plate, and set aside.


To the same pan, add onion and garlic, and saute on medium heat until onion turns translucent.


Add tomatoes, and saute; add paprika, and saute further until onion mixture turns dark red, 5+ minutes.
Stir often.


In the meantime, prepare vegetable toppings.

Shell fava beans, cut asparagus into several sections, and boil together.

First add fava beans and then asparagus after 1 minute.
Boil fava beans for 2 minutes in total.

Drain. (If necessary, remove asparagus from boiling water when done, instead of waiting fava beans.)

When fava beans are cool enough to handle, remove skin (after skin removal in photo). 


When onion tomato paste turns brownish dark red, add rice, and saute for a few minutes until rice and paste are well blended.

Heat up broth as necessary.


Pour broth, and gently stir until the bottom of pan starts to appear when moving spatula.

During this process, turn pan for even heat distribution.


Quickly arrange fava beans, asparagus and prawns on top, and cook for another 5 minutes or so until the bottom starts to make crackling sound.


Remove from heat, cover with a cloth, and let sit for 5-10 minutes.


Cut parsley and lemons, and place on top.

Ready to serve.

  • Spot shrimp (coon shrimp are a smaller version) is a very sweet and flavorful species in our region. You usually get 10-12 spot shrimp per pound. The species is also found in the northern part of Japan. Its heads and shells make a superb broth. If not available, use any prawn.
  • A 15"/38cm paella pan fits perfectly on the large burner in our kitchen, but heat along the outer edge is not strong enough. For this reason, I use 1 large front burner and 1 small back burner at the same time, rotating the pan while cooking rice in Process 12.
  • Make sure the broth is hot when pouring into rice.
  • Twelve spot shrimp on top make this seem rather crowded, but their bodies are quite small when shelled.
  • Use in-season vegetables for green toppings.
  • As the rice already has the full flavor of spot shrimp from the broth, this paella is very satisfying without any prawn topping (photo at right is the same paella with fava beans and parsley only).

(Last updated: May 9, 2016)

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