I'm making paella.

Most of the recipes I've looked at call for specialty rice varieties that are expensive and/or difficult to find. I have a large amount of Calrose rice (this stuff) in my cupboard already.

I know I want to avoid long-grain, very-non-sticky varieties like basmati, but aside from that I'm not sure what the important considerations are when choosing my rice. Is the Calrose I already have a good choice, or should I bite the bullet and buy something fancy?

  • Link is just a page of adverts, can't get to the product.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 14, 2019 at 18:30
  • @Tetsujin Weird, it's a link to the product page for the item from Target for me. Does this Amazon one work for you?
    – A_S00
    Apr 14, 2019 at 18:42
  • Yes, I can get to the Amazon link, the other just forces me to their home page. I'm not in the US, so the geo flag will probably do that for anyone outside. Amazon doesn't do that & lets anyone see, even if they can't buy it.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 14, 2019 at 18:47
  • Arroz La fallera bomba type, the commonly used in Valencia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomba_rice
    – Oscar
    Apr 15, 2019 at 11:33

3 Answers 3


Some will say no, some will say yes. I'm in the yes camp.

If you want to make paella, and that's the only rice you have on hand, don't let anyone stop you.

Use this as a learning experience.

Be warned that the rice might be stickier than other type or rice, especially paella rice, so be careful about the amount of liquid used.

Rinse the rice thoroughly to remove as much surface starch as possible.

  • Well, that's absurd. As for risotto, the starchy quality of the shorter grain rice is what you need for paella. So rinsing it off would be totally counter-productive
    – user57361
    Apr 15, 2019 at 23:54
  • Disregard anyone comparing paella and risotto in any way. In paella you want separate grains, in risotto you want a creamy mush.
    – hmijail
    Dec 8, 2021 at 2:22

Calrose rice is a medium grain rice, it will probably work okay but it won't really have the right texture. If you are in the US there shouldn't be any problem finding short grain Arborio rice, which is all that paella rice is. You can spend a bomb on paella rice in fancy bags imported from half way across the world, but it isn't really a different product from the risotto rice or the arborio rice you get for a fraction of the price at many supermarkets.

  • Disregard anyone comparing paella and risotto in any way. In paella you want separate grains, in risotto you want a creamy mush.
    – hmijail
    Dec 8, 2021 at 2:27

Any cheap short-grain rice will work as well for paella as for risotto. You can use The Authentic Varieties, which are usually blisteringly expensive, or just head to your local Asian market for a good array of short-grain rice. If you don't have an Asian market, the short-grain varieties are usually found at floor level in your supermarket, since long-grain seems to be the canonical fashionable type in the US at the moment.

Just be sure not to rinse off the starch as recommended by Max, since that will negate the properties you're getting the short grain for.

  • Well a lot of Asian short-grain rice is really sticky because of its enzyme mix. Arborio/paella rice is medium grained.
    – Pointy
    Apr 16, 2019 at 13:06

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