Lobster paella (Paella de bogavante a banda)


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  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 0m
  • Cook Time : 0m
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1 small Maine lobster (1 to 11/4 pounds)

2 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil

6 ounces fresh squid, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup sofrito (Link)

1 garlic clove, finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)

3½ cups Traditional Fish Stock (Link)

1 pinch Spanish saffron threads

1 tablespoon salt

1½ cups Spanish Bomba or Calasparra rice (see tips)


Using a very sharp knife, separate the lobster head from the tail. Cut the lobster head in half, putting the blade between the eyes. Slice through the head cleanly, then cut it into quarters, and cut the claws in half. Cut the tail into 6 medallions.

In a paella pan over high heat, sear the lobster medallions in the o live oil for 1 minute. Remove them from the pan and set them aside. Add t he squid to the pan and sear for 15 seconds.

Add the sofrito, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 minutes.

Pour in the fish stock, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Crush the saffron and add it to the pan. Season with the salt. (Make sure it’s just a little bit salty; the rice will balance out the saltiness.)

Add the rice, taking care not to dump it in a pile – spread it evenly around the pan. Cook for 5 minutes over high heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. You’ll see the rice floating around the pan at t his stage. If it’s not, the mixture is too dry and you should add another ½ cup of stock or water.

Place the lobster head, claws, and medallions on top and reduce the heat to low. After this point, never put your finger or anything else in the rice. If you do, you will break the natural film that forms on top of the paella and the rice will cook unevenly. Maintaining a slow boil, cook for 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.

Set the paella aside for 3 minutes; then serve right away.


If you can’t find Bomba or Calasparra, Arborio rice is the next best thing. Just be careful to check the box for the perfect quantity of stock.

Each rice is slightly different and you’ll need to use your judgment.

Bogavante, or clawed lobster, should not be confused with the clawless spiny lobster called langosta, which has a more delicate and subtle flavor. In Spain both are considered a delicacy and are available only at a very high price, mainly because they are wild and hard to catch.

This paella is the perfect showcase for the lobster, proving that the best paellas are those with just one or two main ingredients.

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