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What is Fideuà (Fideua) and How Do I Cook it?

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If you enjoy eating and cooking paella, then another recipe you should be familiar with is fideuà (sometimes spelled fideua). However, you should not confuse dish with paella, even though they both come from the same area- Valencia, Spain. In this blog, I will go over what exactly is fideuà and how you can cook it from the comfort of your home! The first question you may have, even if you know about fideuà, is what is it? Sure, it is a Spanish recipe but what separates them is the cooking process and ingredients. For the most part the two recipes are remarkably similar, and it is clear why once you learn the origins of fideuà.

Origins of Fideuà

In short, fideuà is a Spanish recipe that is a spin on the traditional paella. While the origins of fideuà live on in stories, the actual origins are something mostly lost to time. However, the story goes it was the invention of a Spanish ship captain around the early to mid-1900s. The captain would make delicious paella for the crew frequently, as it was easy to make a sizeable amount for the crew. However, the rice was so delicious, sailors would commonly eat too much. To make sure everyone has food, he instead started using noodles. Why noodles? Well, noodles are dense, affordable, and the sailors did not prefer it as much as the rice. While you can eat rice, even by itself, noodles are a lot less appetizing alone. So, the origin of fideuà is directly connected to paella!

Fideuà could not exist without paella having been first invented and popularized through Spain. Nowadays, fideuà is a lot more than just a noodle paella for when you lack rice. Instead, it is its own delicious and unique recipe that many love and some prefer over paella! If you are interested in cooking paella then fideuà is something you should also consider making. Rice time and time again can become boring so switch up your lunches or dinners by making a fideuà recipe instead.

How To Cook Fideuà

Now that you know the origins of fideuà, you can begin thinking about cooking it yourself. If you know how to cook paella, then you are already half-way there. For beginners, I will be starting from the beginning. The first thing you will need to keep in mind when making fideuà is that you will need a paella pan. At Machika, we offer both enameled and traditional carbon steel paella pans for sale. If you are looking for a premium quality paella pan from Valencia, Spain, then look no further than Machika.

Fideuà Ingredients

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The first step to any recipe is gathering your 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 fideuà are known as fideo. However, if you are having trouble finding this exactly type of pasta, vermicelli noodles have a terribly similar taste, size, and consistency. Some recipes may recommend it and others may recommend fideo instead. If you know you are cooking Fideuà ahead of time and the noodles are not at your local supermarket, you can order the noodles online instead. Besides the noodles, many ingredients remain the same as saffron. Saffron contributes to the color and unique flavor or paella and fideuà.

Certain other ingredients will differ when making Fideuà such as Monkfish and sunflower oil. Paella typically using olive oil and does not have actual fish 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 fideuà does not.

Fideuà Cooking Instructions

Cooking fideuà differs greatly from cooking paella. If you were to go about cooking it the same way, you would get a mushy and overcooked dish. You could say cooking fideuà is harder than paella simply because of the difference in cooking steps. If you know how to cook paella, then you pretty much already know how to cook fideuà. 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 fideuà need to be toasted. While sauteing 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 fideuà easily in only about an hour to an hour 30 minutes.

Find More Cooking Hacks and Recipes at Machika Today

If you are finding it difficult to get cooking in the kitchen, then we have your back. At Machika, we believe cooking should not be a hassle. Instead, your time in the kitchen is an opportunity to connect and share with friends and family. Learn new skills, eat healthier, and turn your kitchen into a place of joy with Machika. Check out some of our other articles and recipes at the Machika blog today!

Machika writer Maria Perez, blog writer; paella pans, paella recipes, cooking recipes, food articles, and more.

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