Rice with Cod, Piquillo Peppers and Saffron

Our family adores this dish. It is festive, sunny and very Spanish and we love that everything is cooked in one pan. We tend to serve it for Sunday lunch, with a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of alioli on the side. Que bueno!

We’re all familiar with paella, but there are many more rice dishes that are really popular in Valencia, a region of Spain’s Eastern coast. They tend to be ‘dry’ rice dishes or arroces secos and are often made with fish or seafood. The key ingredient for making these rice dishes sing is a good fish stock, as it makes all the difference to the flavour absorbed into the rice during the cooking process. We used this fish stock by Garriga for this dish.

Rice with cod, piquillo peppers and saffron recipe

Serves 4-6


4 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

½ tsp smoked paprika

2 teaspoons of Sofrito

2 large tomatoes, halved

1 litre fish stock

½ tsp saffron

400g paella rice

4 piquillo peppers, sliced

2 fillets of cod, cut into pieces

Alioli (to serve)

Lemon (to serve)




Cut the tomatoes in half and grate the flesh using a cheese grater. Discard the skin.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large shallow based pan (with a lid) and add the chopped shallots. Fry until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the sofrito, garlic and smoked paprika and continue cooking for a couple of minutes before adding the grated tomatoes.  Cook for a further few minutes until the mixture starts to resemble a sauce.

Add the fish stock, saffron and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stirring the mixture then add the rice. Stir once and then leave to simmer over medium to high heat for 6 minutes.

Add the slices of piquillo pepper, arranging them evenly over the rice. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 12 minutes by which point the liquid should be almost absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and season your pieces of cod with salt and sprinkle with a touch of paprika. Add the cod to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes on each side until it has browned nicely.

Just before the 12 minutes is up on the rice, gently transfer the cod to the rice dish. Turn off the heat under the rice and put the lid on and leave for 5 minutes.

Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon and some alioli on the side.