The Arroz Negro is visually, one of the most interesting Paella dishes, since (how its name states) it is completely black. The ingredients themselves are very similar to a fish paella, consisting of rice and seafood, but in this case the special and indispensable key element is the squid or cuttlefish.

Not only do you use its meat, but as well the ink.

Squids have two ink sacs, which contain a natural colorant used a lot in the Mediterranean cuisine like in Italy or Spain of course. It almost doesn’t add flavor to the dish, although it makes it more flavorful and you obtain a nice color (it is also said that it softens a little bit the ingredients).

Finally everything can be rounded up perfectly with some fresh alioli (garlic mayonnaise). Give this one definitely a try despite its somewhat imposing appearance- it truly is a delicacy.

black rice with ink

Toya Legido_©ICEX

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paella boletus foie

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paella boletus foie


  • 300 gr (baby) cuttlefish or squid
  • 200 gr fish filet (monkfish, kingklip, school shark or any type of fish with a lot of meat and few bones)
  • 2 ink sacs. This is a good one made in the north  Spain
  • 2 ñoras (dried red pepper). You can read our article about ñoras here and buy them outside Spain here
  • 1 green pepper
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning (parsley, saffron, white wine, salt- mashed)
  • Fish stock, 8 cups
  • 400 gr Bomba rice (or any other short-grain rice if you can’t get it) like Santo Tomás
  • Prep: 20 min
    Cook: 40 min

  • Yield: 4 servings


  1. Rehydrate the ñoras: Cut the peppers in halves, remove the seeds and place them into a jar of water
  2. Gut and Clean the baby squids or ask your monger to do it for you.
  3. Cut the vegetables into small pieces.
  4. Heat the pan  add the olive oil.
  5. Fry the peeled cloves of garlic until they’re golden, take them out and save them for the “mashed seasoning” (majadito)
  6. Sauté green pepper and when it’s golden, add the tomato and then the squid.
  7. When everything is tender, add the rice and stir-fry it with the rest of the ingredients.
  8. Add then the stock (remember that for preparing any sort of Paella, you always need double the amount of stock than rice.)
  9. Prepare the majadito with the seasoning and the ink, the garlic you saved and  the ñoras, all mashed in a mortar.
  10. When the stock starts boiling, add the majadito and  the fish pieces.
  11. Cook it 10 minutes over high heat
  12. Then 7-8 minutes over low heat.
  13. Let it rest 10 minutes, covered.


About the Author: Spain Food Sherpas

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