Bomba Rice: Discover the Characteristics, Uses and Basic Preparation

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What is bomba rice?

Bomba rice is a type of Spanish rice that’s known for being able to absorb a lot of liquid without breaking. It’s also known as Valencian rice, and it’s a short-grain rice with a pearly white color and a plump shape.

It’s a difficult rice to grow and cultivate, but it’s well worth the effort because of its unique properties. Let’s look at everything you need to know about this special rice.

What is bomba rice

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What Makes Bomba Rice Stand Out?

Bomba rice is a type of short-grained, pearly white rice that is commonly used in Spanish cuisine, particularly in the popular dish, paella. Here are some of the key characteristics that make bomba rice stand out:

  • High amylose content: Bomba rice has a higher amylose content compared to other rice varieties. This property gives it the ability to absorb up to three times its volume in water, making it ideal for paella and other rice dishes that require a lot of liquid.
  • Uniform length: The grains of bomba rice are short and plump, with a uniform length. This property allows them to expand evenly during cooking, resulting in a consistent texture and flavor.
  • Nonstick properties: Bomba rice has a natural ability to remain separate and not stick together during cooking, making it perfect for dishes like paella where the grains need to remain distinct.
  • Expensive: Bomba rice is generally more expensive compared to other rice varieties due to its unique properties and the care required in its cultivation and preparation.
  • Bright pearly color: The grains of bomba rice have a bright, pearly color that differs from other rice varieties.
  • Native to Valencia: Bomba rice is native to the Valencian region of Spain, where it is still harvested by hand in the springtime.
  • Packaged in small containers: Bomba rice is commonly available in small containers rather than in bulk like other rice varieties. This is because it is a high-quality product that requires careful selection and handling.
  • Moisture content is important: When selecting bomba rice, it is important to check for signs of moisture, as excess moisture can ruin the rice.
  • Best for paella: While bomba rice can be used in other rice dishes, it is best known for its use in paella due to its ability to absorb liquid and remain separate during cooking.

The Cultivation and Preparation of Bomba Rice

Here are some additional insights into the cultivation and preparation of bomba rice:

  • Seeded in spring: Bomba rice is seeded in the spring and harvested in the fall.
  • Careful cultivation: Bomba rice requires careful cultivation and attention to detail in order to maintain its unique properties.
  • Grown in water-rich areas: Bomba rice is typically grown in areas with abundant water resources, as it requires a lot of water to grow properly.
  • Expands during cooking: Bomba rice expands during cooking, absorbing up to three times its volume in water.
  • Nonstick properties: Bomba rice has natural nonstick properties that make it perfect for dishes like paella where the grains need to remain separate.
  • Packaged carefully: Bomba rice is typically packaged in small containers to preserve its quality and prevent moisture from ruining the rice.

For more information on the basics of bomba rice, check out articles on GotoChef from October and November.

Get Creative with Bomba Rice: Ideas for Dishes and Containers

Bomba rice is mainly used in Spanish cuisine, especially in the region of Valencia. Here are some traditional dishes you can make with bomba rice:

  • Paella: This is the most popular dish made with bomba rice. You can make seafood paella, chicken and chorizo paella, or mixed paella with vegetables and meat.
  • Arroz caldoso: This is a soupy rice dish that is similar to risotto. It’s creamy and flavorful, and you can add different spices and seafood to make it special.
  • Arroz con pollo: This is a chicken and rice dish that is similar to paella but without the seafood. It’s a comforting and filling meal that is perfect for a family dinner.

Selecting and Storing Bomba Rice

When selecting bomba rice, always check the packaging for signs of moisture. Moisture can ruin the rice, so make sure it’s dry and well-packaged. You can buy bomba rice in bulk or in small containers, depending on your needs. Store it in an airtight container in a cool and dry place to maintain its status. Bomba rice is available in different strains, but the original one is from the Ebro Delta in Spain and has a special status.

Preparing Bomba Rice: Tips and Tricks

Preparing bomba rice is not rocket science, but it does require some attention to detail. Here are some basic tips to get you started:

  • Use a heavy-bottomed pan to prevent burning and ensure even cooking.
  • For every cup of rice, use two cups of water or broth.
  • Bring the water to a boil before adding the rice.
  • Stir the rice occasionally while cooking to prevent sticking and ensure even absorption of liquid.
  • Once the water has been absorbed, turn off the heat and let the rice sit for a few minutes before fluffing it with a fork.

Choose the right type of bomba rice

Bomba rice is a short-grain variety of rice that is mainly grown in the Ebro Delta region of Spain. It is known for its ability to absorb large amounts of liquid without breaking or overcooking. When choosing bomba rice, keep the following in mind:

  • Bomba rice is available in both white and brown varieties.
  • For the best results, choose a high-quality bomba rice, such as Montsià or Bomba Rice from Valencia.
  • Bomba rice is perfect for creating soupy dishes like paella, poke, and curried rice.
  • It is also a great option for dishes that require a lot of protein, such as duck magret or marinated seafood.

Get creative with your ingredients

Bomba rice has a unique flavor and texture that brings a special touch to any dish. Here are some ideas for creating delicious bomba rice recipes:

  • Add extra flavor to your rice by using broth instead of water.
  • For a spicy kick, add some hot sauce or chili flakes to the rice.
  • For a balanced dish, add some vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
  • For a complete meal, add some protein like chicken, shrimp, or sausage.
  • For a new twist on an old favorite, try a curried bomba rice with yogurt sauce.

Expert tips for the final result

To ensure that your bomba rice turns out perfectly every time, keep these expert tips in mind:

  • Stir the rice gently to prevent it from breaking.
  • Don’t overcook the rice, as it will become mushy and lose its shape.
  • Use a medium heat to cook the rice, as high heat can cause the rice to burn.
  • Use a smooth-bottomed pan to prevent the rice from sticking.
  • For a soupy dish, use more liquid than for a dry dish.
  • For a thicker dish, use less liquid.
  • For a rounder grain, use less stirring.
  • For a thinner grain, use more stirring.
  • For the best flavor, use olive oil instead of butter.
  • For a delicious twist, try adding some duck magret to your bomba rice.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be a bomba rice expert in no time!


So there you have it- everything you need to know about bomba rice. It’s a Spanish rice dish favorite, especially in the region of Valencia, and it’s known for its unique properties and delicious taste.

It’s a type of rice that’s high in amylose, has a natural nonstick property, and it’s perfect for dishes like paella. Plus, it’s a great way to add some extra fiber to your diet.

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.