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What is the Difference between Fideua and Paella?

fideua and paella next to each cooked in paella pan carbon steel and enameled steel paella pan seafood recipes Spanish

If you are looking to make use of your paella pan in various ways, cooking new recipes and dishes is a great way to go about it. A recipe that is often confused with paella, but cooked similarly, is Fideua. But what are the differences between Fideua and paella? Well, the differences are not great, but they are significant if you are thinking of making Fideua. In this article, we will go over some main differences between the two Spanish recipes.

Paella or Fideua?

If you are looking at a recipe in a paella pan from a distance, you may have trouble telling the difference. However, if you get up close, the differences will become more apparent, particular when comparing varieties of paellas to Fideua. While some ingredients are the same, the bases differ. For example, paella using short grain rice like Bomba rice, while Fideua uses short noodles. Besides ingredients, the dishes differ in how they are cooked and their history.

Ingredients

The main difference between the two dishes are the ingredients. Even then, many of the ingredients are similar, with only a couple key differences when compared to a seafood paella. The noodles used in Fideua are known as fideo. However, if you are having trouble finding this exactly type of pasta, vermicelli noodles have a very similar taste, size, and consistency. Some recipes may recommend it and others may recommend fideo instead. If you know you are cooking Fideua ahead of time and the noodles are not at your local supermarket, you can order the noodles online instead. Besides the noodles, many ingredients, like saffron, remain the same. Saffron contributes to the color and unique flavor or paella and Fideua.

Certain other ingredients will differ when making Fideua such as Monkfish and sunflower oil. Paella typically using olive oil and does not have actually fished in it. Seafood paellas typically have shellfish, shrimp, and squid. Fish is not usually used in paella. Veggies also differ since paella sometimes includes peas and Fideua does not. Besides these couple of differences, paella and Fideua ingredients are very similar and once you know the history, you will know why.

Cooking Process

If you know how to cook paella, then you pretty much already know how to cook Fideua. The process differs slightly, but is the same for the most part. One major part that is difference is the treatment of the base. Unlike the rice, which can just go into a paella, the noodles in Fideua need to be toasted. While sautéing your vegetables, you should toast your noodles to prepare them. They should be toasted until golden brown. You will also sauté your vegetables for longer than you would when making paella. Using a paella pan, you can cook Fideua easily in only about an hour to an hour 30 minutes.

History

The history of paella is well known, and you can read about it by clicking here. Unlike paella, Fideua is a relatively new recipe with origins around the early 1900s. Compared to the hundreds of years paella has been around, Fideua is a near brand new! The recipes are very similar, since Fideua is essentially an offshoot of paella. The story behind the recipe is that a fisherman decided to use noodles in his paella instead of bomba rice. Supposedly, sailors like the Bomba rice too much and would eat it too quickly. While this is just a story that may not be completely true, it does point to the fact that Fideua was born out of paella.

Find More Recipes and Kitchen Accessories at Machika Today!

If you are looking to cook paella or Fideua, then you cannot go wrong with an authentic Spanish paella pan. Not only do our pans come from Valencia, Spain (the origin of paella and Fideua) they come in two varieties; enameled steel and carbon steel. You can click here to go to our online store today and get free shipping on orders over $25. At Machika, we strive to present you with easy recipes and articles that get you in the kitchen and cooking delicious food. You can read our other recipes and articles by clicking the link here.

Machika blog writer Maria Perez, paella, kitchenware, cooking accessories, easy recipes, paella recipes, and more.

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