Arroz Negro
Recipes > Dinner > Side Dishes > Arroz Negro

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Recipe Checklist:
  • 4 T Squid Ink
  • 2 Medium-Sized Squid (Prepped & Minced)
  • 2 C Fish Stock
  • 1 C Spanish Rice
  • 1 t Kosher Salt
  • 1 t Lemon Juice (Fresh Squeezed)
  • 1 t Fish Sauce
Tools & Equipment
  • Cutting Board
  • Chefs Knife
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Large Saucepan or Paella Pan
  • Strainer
Estimated Time
1 Hour
Serves 6
+ -

Arroz Negro translates as “Black Rice” and it is a popular dish from Spain’s Mediterranean Coast (especially around Castellon de la Plana). It was originally known as “Poor Man’s Rice” (or “Arroz de Pobre” in Spanish). Today, it is an interesting first course or Side Dish which can be upgraded to an Entrée with the addition of some Seafood or Meat.


The most time consuming preparation step will be, if you elect to start from scratch, making the Fish Stock. The flavor of homemade stock will make a big difference and creating Fish Stock is very doable if you Organize and plan ahead. Smart Kitchen’s exercise on Making Fish Stock explains how to go about it.

Now, let’s talk about the rice a second before we prep it. We call for an uncooked Medium Grain Spanish Rice such as Bomba Rice, Calasparra Rice, Valencia Rice, etc. because these Rice types will ultimately yield the best outcome. They have a moderate amount of the sticky starch Amylopectin, which is what we want for Arroz Negro.

Because we are using an uncooked Spanish Rice, we should rinse it before beginning so that any excess starch and stickiness gets washed away down the drain. Place the Rice in a strainer and rinse it under cold running water until it is running clear. This should take around 2 minutes. Once it is rinsed, remove it from the faucet and give it a good shake, without tossing the rice grains all over your kitchen. Let it sit and dry while you move on to prepping your other product.

Cut a lemon in half and squeeze its juice into a ramekin to hold it until needed.

Squid can be purchased at Seafood Markets, some Specialty Grocery Stores and Asian Markets. It can be purchased prepped (with the beak removed) or you can remove the beak yourself. You don’t need to Square Off the body since we are looking for Minced Squid.

Squid Ink can be found in jars at Specialty Grocery Stores or Asian Super Markets. It is highly staining, so be forewarned and work carefully.

The Fish Sauce we are calling for is a fermented Asian specialty sauce. Thai Kitchen Fish Sauce is one brand that is widely available, usually in the Asian section.


To begin the active phase, place a large Sauce Pan or Paella Pan over High Heat. Add the Fish Stock and the Fish Sauce and bring them to a Boil. Once a Boil is achieved, add the Spanish Rice, the Squid Ink, the minced Squid and the Kosher Salt. Mix all of the ingredients together with a Slotted Spoon while you let them Boil for 5-6 minutes.

After the 5-6 minutes of Boiling, lower the cooking heat to Medium/Low Heat and let the mixture Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the Spanish Rice has absorbed all of the liquid and is Al Dente.

Once the Spanish Rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the Arroz Negro with the Lemon juice and then cover the Rice with a kitchen towel. Let it Rest for 5 minutes or so, before serving it warm.

If you plan to Hold the Arroz Negro hot, hold it in a 225˚ F (107.2˚ C) oven for up to 3 hours. Cooked and tempered Arroz Negro will keep refrigerated for 1-3 days.