A Taste of Two Cultures: Peruvian and Spanish Paella Compared

Paella is a renowned Spanish dish that has been enjoyed for centuries around the world. The dish is traditionally made up of saffron-infused rice and a variety of seafood, meats, and vegetables.

However, what many people don’t know is that paella has a cousin in Peru, known as paella peruana.

Both dishes have many similarities, but there are also some key differences that make them unique from one another.

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between paella peruana and Spanish paella, from the ingredients used to the cooking techniques employed.

We will also delve into the cultural and historical influences that have contributed to the development of these two paellas.

Whether you’re a foodie looking to expand your culinary horizons or simply curious about the diversity of traditional dishes from around the world, this post is sure to be an enlightening and delicious read.

So, grab a fork and join us on a journey through the flavors and traditions of paella peruana

The Differences between Peruvian Paella vs Spanish paella

 Here are some differences between Paella Peruana and Spanish Paella:

  1. Rice: Paella Peruana typically uses long-grain rice, while Spanish Paella is traditionally made with short-grain rice.
  2. Flavor: Paella Peruana often incorporates ají, a Peruvian pepper, which adds a unique spicy flavor to the dish. Spanish Paella, on the other hand, relies on a combination of saffron, paprika, and other spices for its distinct taste.
  3. Seafood: Paella Peruana, known as Arroz con Mariscos, is a seafood-focused dish that includes a variety of seafood such as shrimp, mussels, and fish. Spanish Paella can also include seafood, but it may also feature other ingredients like chicken, rabbit, or vegetables.
  4. Spiciness: Paella Peruana can be spicier compared to Spanish Paella, thanks to the addition of ají and other Peruvian spices.
  5. Regional Variations: Both Paella Peruana and Spanish Paella have regional variations. In Peru, Arroz con Mariscos is a popular coastal dish, while Spanish Paella has different regional styles such as Valencian Paella, which includes chicken and rabbit, and Seafood Paella, which focuses on seafood.

It’s important to note that these differences may vary depending on the specific recipe and regional variations.

But You will Find… More

Certainly! Here are two additional differences between Paella Peruana and Spanish Paella:

  1. Cooking Technique: Paella Peruana is often cooked using a sautéing method, where the ingredients are first sautéed before adding the rice and liquid. This helps develop flavors and creates a rich base. Spanish Paella, on the other hand, follows the traditional method of cooking the rice with the broth and ingredients in a shallow, wide pan, allowing the rice to absorb the flavors slowly.
  2. Garnishes and Accompaniments: Paella Peruana is often garnished with lime wedges and served with a side of salsa criolla, a Peruvian onion and tomato salsa. This adds a tangy and refreshing element to the dish. Spanish Paella is typically garnished with lemon wedges, which can be squeezed over the paella to add a citrusy flavor. It is also served with aioli, a garlic mayonnaise, on the side.

These differences in cooking technique and accompaniments contribute to the unique characteristics and flavors of Paella Peruana and Spanish Paella.

Arroz de Marisco (Also call Peruvian Seafood rice) vs Paella Valenciana

Arroz de Marisco, also known as Peruvian Seafood Rice, and Paella Valenciana are two popular rice dishes with distinct regional identities. While both are rice-based dishes that incorporate seafood and various other ingredients, they differ in their preparation and flavor.

paella con marisco photo
Photo by kerinin

Arroz de Marisco typically features a mixture of seafood, such as clams, mussels, and shrimp, cooked in a tomato-based sauce with rice.

Paella Valenciana, on the other hand, is a traditional Spanish dish made with saffron-infused rice, chicken, rabbit, and vegetables. The two dishes are distinct in flavor and texture, with Arroz de Marisco being heartier and spicier while Paella Valenciana is lighter and more fragrant.

Paella vs Arroz con Mariscos (Peruvian seafood Rice)

Paella and Arroz con Mariscos are two popular seafood rice dishes that have their roots in two different cultures. Paella, a Spanish dish, is a rice dish that is typically made with saffron and a variety of seafood and meats.

On the other hand, Arroz con Mariscos is a Peruvian dish that features a mixture of seafood, rice, and spices. While both dishes are delicious and feature seafood as the main ingredient, they are quite different in terms of preparation and taste.

Paella has a more smoky, savory flavor while Arroz con Mariscos tends to be slightly sweeter. Ultimately, the choice between the two dishes will depend on personal preference and the occasion.

What is Peruvian Seafood Rice(arroz con mariscos)?

Peruvian Seafood Rice (Arroz con Mariscos) is a delicious and flavorful dish that is a staple in Peruvian cuisine. It is a rice-based dish cooked with a variety of seafood such as shrimp, calamari, mussels, and scallops. The dish is typically prepared with a combination of aromatic ingredients such as onions, garlic, tomatoes, and Peruvian yellow chili pepper (ají amarillo) to give it a unique and spicy flavor.

Here is a general recipe for Peruvian Seafood Rice:


  • 2 cups of long-grain rice
  • 1 pound of mixed seafood (shrimp, calamari, mussels, scallops)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of Peruvian yellow chili pepper paste (ají amarillo)
  • 1 cup of fish or seafood broth
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro (Peruvians call culantro)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime wedges for serving
arroz con marisco photo
Photo by Ron Dollete


  1. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot or skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until they become translucent.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
  4. Stir in the Peruvian yellow chili pepper paste (ají amarillo) and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the mixed seafood to the pot and cook until they are partially cooked.
  6. Pour in the white wine and cook for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
  7. Add the rice to the pot and stir well to coat it with the flavors.
  8. Pour in the fish or seafood broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine.
  9. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.
  10. Once the rice is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit covered for about 5 minutes.
  11. Fluff the rice with a fork and sprinkle chopped cilantro on top.
  12. Serve the Peruvian Seafood Rice hot with lime wedges on the side.

Arroz con Mariscos is often enjoyed with a side of salsa criolla (a Peruvian onion and tomato salsa) and aji verde (a spicy green sauce). It is a delightful and satisfying dish that showcases the rich flavors of the Peruvian coastal cuisine.

¡Buen provecho! (Enjoy your meal!)

Enjoy More Dishes

If you are grateful with this recipe please share it with family and friends or feel free of share this on social media.

Please Do you have comments please replay asap to know your best ideas.

And remember, if you want contact us, just fill up the contact form, Thanks

Spread the love to Peruvian Cuisine

Leave a Comment