Short grain rice for cold rice salad?

Joined Sep 5, 2008
I'm making paella salad this week end, for the first time. My idea was to stay pretty close to the taste of paella, but serve it cold with a vinaigrette. Pretty basic: 

- Heat olive oil,

- Sautee red & green bell peppers, green beans,

- Garlic,

- Fresh tomatoes, rosemary, 

- Rice, 

- Chicken stock, saffron, 

- Diced chorizo. 

- Vinaigrette (olive oil, lemon, vinegar).

However I wonder how short grain rice would fare with this recipe? Would it hold its shape and not become mushy when cold? Usually when I make paella that way the rice gets a bit mushy after a night in the fridge...

So my question is: am I fine using short grain rice, or am I better off using long grain rice for this salad?

Joined Apr 3, 2008
I don't know, a test run might be a good idea. I always have good luck with uncle bens for rice salads,it doesn't stick.

I wonder if it's possible to put saffron in the vinegrette instead? Ever been done?

The only thing that would concern me is the fat from the chorizo, if it's cooked with the rice the far might congeal when it cools. It might be better if it is cooked and added separately.
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Joined Sep 5, 2008

I think it's better to add the saffron to the rice's cooking water no? It seems like it would be better incorporated that way - more homogenous. Although a saffron vinaigrette does sound cool. 

I'm not concerned about the chorizo, I'm adding it raw after the rice is cooked. I find that adding it earlier in the process gives a wonderful taste to the broth (and therefore to the rice) but unfortunately leaves you with bland, watered down chorizo. So I'll dice it and add at the end. 
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Saffron in the vinegrette was just an idea, me thinking out loud. I agree it would incorporate better in the broth.

You could add some chorizo for that flavor you're looking for and then add the rest at the end too.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I would prefer a long grain for a salad personally. 

Here's one I did for the rice challenge.Turmeric for color, lemon and basil and garlic for the power flavors. (olives, artichokes, grape tomatoes, grilled  zuke, grilled onion, grilled eggplant)

Joined May 27, 2013
I've never had paella cold. Sounds strange to me, but that doesn't mean it won't or can't be good. Just that I'm not used to it.

Short grain paella rice is much like arborio for risotto. It's very starchy, so if you don't want the rice grains to stick together, don't use short grain. Having said that, if your paella is turning to mush, then it sounds like you might be overcooking it. Mine doesn't turn to mush until the third time reheating. But then again, paella is never really loose. . .

I would suggest to fry the chorizo first, and release the fat and flavor, remove, then add the rice and stir around until pearly. I would add the broth with saffron, then the cooked chorizo after the rice is done. The sure fire way to keep the rice grains from sticking together is add fat - butter or olive oil  - when 'pre-cooking' the rice (fry it in the fat). The oil will give it a nice sheen. You could also wash the rice before hand and remove more excess starch, but definitely long grain. EDIT : after consultation, you can still use short grain..: )

I personally wouldn't cook the tomato's with the rice though, just to keep it fresh and clean if you are doing a salad. I'll also say that roasted red peppers might add that additional paella flavor instead of sauteing dice with the onions, although a traditional spanish sofrito includes red or greed bell peppers. . . I'd also go with a sherry or red wine vinegar. Lemon and pimenton (chorizo)/saffron aren't flavor buddies, IMHO.

Anyway, just my two cents.
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
Lemon and pimenton (chorizo)/saffron aren't flavor buddies, IMHO.
That's odd, they are a wonderful flavor combination!! Which is why paella is nearly always served with lemon. But even in other dishes, I often mix saffron and lemon (tajine) or pimenton and lemon... 

Anyway turns out it's rather cold outside right now so I think I'll end up serving the paella hot after all. Or at least warm. That solves that problem. Got 2kg arborio rice at the store, it's going to be a big party! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

@phatch  your rice salad is beautiful. 
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