If you like rice, the cuisine of the Costa Blanca offers you a feast. There are so many rice dishes to choose from: soupy, dry, or sticky, with vegetables, fish, seafood, of meat… In the areas nearest the Mediterranean Sea most recipes are made with fish and shellfish, while further inland you often find options combining meat, pulses and vegetables. There are also local specialities that are prepared differently depending on the area.In the province of Alicante you’ll find many restaurants specialising in rice dishes. We recommend booking ahead and ordering your dish in advance, especially if you’ll be in a large group.These are some of the traditional rice dishes you can try: Arroz a banda: cooked in a casserole with bony little rockfish, and then served without the fish - but with all their flavour. You can order this anywhere in Alicante province, but it is traditional in the Marina Alta district.
A thousand and one ways to cook rice
A journey to the Costa Blanca in Alicante province takes you to a culinary destination with over 300 local rice dishes. There are so many different ways to prepare it that you can always find a delicious recipe to suit every taste.
Arroz con costra: made with meats such as rabbit, chicken or sausage, and cooked differently in different towns. The “costra” is a crunchy top layer made by pouring beaten egg over the pan. This recipe is particularly popular in the Bajo Vinalopó and Vega Baja areas. Arroz al horno: baked in the oven in a clay dish, this recipe also varies a great deal depending on the area. The main ingredients are potato, black pudding, chickpeas, tomato, and pork ribs. Caldero: this is a sticky rice made with strongly flavoured fish like monkfish, conger eel, grey mullet or scorpion fish. It is cooked in a copper or iron cauldron, and is very traditional on the island of Tabarca and in Villajoyosa, Torrevieja and the southern province.
Arroz negro: black rice, its colour comes from the ink of the tiny cuttlefish used to make it. It is usually served decorated with prawns and pieces of red peppers, and accompanied by alioli sauce (made with olive oil, egg, lemon and garlic). Arroz del Senyoret: made with fish and shellfish, the name “senyoret” suggests someone rather posh, because everything is served peeled and ready to eat so the diners don’t get their hands dirty. Arroz con conejo y caracoles: rice, rabbit, snails and saffron are the main ingredients of this dish, traditionally cooked over a wood fire in a paella pan. Typical of the Alto Vinalopó and Medio Vinalopó districts.