Black Rice with Calamari and Prawns
prawns and calamari with black rice

Black Rice with Calamari and Prawns

Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
prawns and calamari with black rice

This recipe for black rice with calamari and prawns has an intense flavour from the squid ink and is visually stunning.

One of the great things about this recipe is that you can use any shellfish like cockles, clams, mussels or scallops. Whichever takes your fancy really.

My wife and I first had this dish at Mi Vida restaurant in Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria’s “Little Venice” while on holiday. The restaurant has a well-deserved reputation for fine food unlike many of its neighbours around the harbour which all seem to serve the usual tourist menu.

mi vida restaurant
Mi Vida Restaurant in Puerto de Mogan

If you are ever in Gran Canaria I strongly recommend paying Mi Vida a visit for lunch or dinner, you won’t be disappointed. You could combine your meal with some shopping in the town centre or in the local market held every Friday. It gets very busy on market day so get there early!

I must admit that when I first saw dishes made using squid or cuttlefish ink they didn’t look appealing at all. I really enjoy squid and cuttlefish, and when cooked properly it’s not chewy and just melts in the mouth.

But now I am a convert and love the intense flavour the ink gives to the rice. The black rice also makes a very appealing backdrop to the shellfish on top, especially scallops.

squid ink sachets
Squid Ink Sachets

Getting hold of the ink sachets used to be difficult as only high-end restaurants used them. Nowadays recipes using ink regularly pop up on cooking programmes and frozen ink sachets are widely available. Even Amazon sell them!

The black rice in this dish is cooked paella style so it absorbs all the flavours and colour. It’s really easy, no more than using food colouring, except it’s a natural product kept in the fridge or freezer.

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prawns and calamari with black rice

Black Rice with Calamari and Prawns

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: 🇪🇸 Spanish
Difficulty: Easy
Heat: 🌶 Mild
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 639kcal
Author: Richard


  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 100 g paella rice
  • 2 tomatoes ripe, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 sachets squid ink
  • 1 litre fish stock
  • 450 g baby squid
  • 350 g king prawns
  • 1 red chili
  • 120 ml Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

To Serve:

  • 4 tbsp alioli (garlic mayonnaise)


  • Clean the baby squid, it’s very important to take the cartilage out (it looks like a long thin plastic) and get rid of any sand or tiny pieces of shell (or other fish the squid might have eaten). Drain well.
  • Take a big pan (or paella) and stir fry the green pepper and onion, both finely chopped, with a lug of olive oil. Cook until slightly golden.
  • Add the tomato and let it cook (low heat) for 5 mins. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Take another pan and cook the baby squid with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and 2 cloves of garlic (crushed over the squid when they’re slightly golden).
  • Add the squid to the vegetable sauté, mix well. Add the rice and mix until it gets all the flavours.
  • Pour the fish stock (warm) slowly, the squid ink, and mix well.
  • Cook medium heat for 15min, turn off the heat and leave it to rest for 5mins.
  • While the rice is resting, stir-fry the king prawns with the chili, a clove of garlic (sliced) and 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Serve the rice gracefully and top it with the king prawns. It will be irresistible


Serve with aïoli (garlic mayonnaise) on the side.


Calories: 639kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g

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