Creamed rice with cuttlefish & prawns

Creamed rice with cuttlefish & prawns

At the table

Laura Edwards

Cuttlefish is popular all over Spain and can be cooked in many different ways: quickly on a very hot plancha just with some lemon and mayonnaise is heaven; or battered with some flour and then quickly deep-fried is delicious, too.

This is a recipe where you have to cook the cuttlefish for a long time to make it really tender. I think this is the perfect comforting supper for a cold winter’s evening, best enjoyed served in a big bowl as you sit by the fire. It’s one I often cook for friends and is the original ‘one-pot wonder’.

And proof that you never stop learning – once when I was cooking this dish, I added a big splash of txakoli to the pot just because I was drinking some at the time. It brought a whole new freshness to the dish, which I loved, and now I do this whenever I have a bottle open. Don’t worry if you don’t have any, though; a good dry white wine will do just as well.


Quantity Ingredient
olive oil
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
600g fresh cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into small pieces, (ask a good fishmonger)
1.2-1.5 litres hot fresh fish stock
1 small onion, finely chopped
350g paella rice, preferably bomba rice
175ml txakoli or other crisp dry white wine
good pinch saffron, soaked in 1–2 tablespoons hot water
150g raw peeled prawns
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat a little oil in a sauté pan and gently fry the shallot until tender. Add the cuttlefish and about 200–300 ml of the stock to cover. Put the lid on and simmer very gently for 1 hour until really tender.
  2. Heat a little oil in another pan and fry the onion for 10 minutes until soft. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat in the oil. Splash in the txakoli and cook, stirring, until it has all been absorbed.
  3. Add the saffron and its soaking water, then gradually add the remaining stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly. Allow the stock to absorb before adding the next ladleful. You want the rice to be cooked, but with some bite. This will take about 20 minutes.
  4. Heat another frying pan with a tiny amount of oil and fry the prawns over a high heat until pink. Uncover the cuttlefish and stir it and its juices into the creamy rice along with the prawns.
  5. Season and remove from the heat, then cover and stand for 5–10 minutes before serving.
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