And I have always thought so too, until I made this up, taking the essentials from various recipes. Paella, for me, should have the following characteristics:
1. Rice is not soggy.
2. It has to be yellow.
3. It's got a distinct cumin-meat-seafood flavor.
4. There's paprika or bell peppers cooked until nicely soft.
5. The rice is deliciously browned and caramelized at the bottom.
Thanks to the even cooking of the rice cooker, an essential in every Asian home, you get perfectly cooked rice that is browned at the bottom every single time. Is it authentic Valencian Paellla? Probably not but who cares? We love it. It's an effortless one-pot flavorful dish that I guarantee you'll make again.
1 cup rice (I used Japanese rice)
½ onion, choped
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1 red bell pepper/paprika diced (I have also used yellow, orange and green peppers successfully in the past but prefer bright red in my paella)
50-100g shrimp and/or scallops
50-100g chicken breast diced
1 chorizo sausage or similar sliced (The closest thing I could find is beer sausage)
1 T olive oil
½ t turmeric powder
½ t cumin
1 t Better than Bouillon soup base + 1 t Bragg's Liquid Aminos (These two are staples in my kitchen and are very versatile but in the event you don't have either, go with chicken broth)
pepper to taste
Wash the rice. Place rice in the rice cooker with the recommended amount of water or broth if doing chicken broth (follow the line indicated on the pot). Set aside. Heat olive oil in a pan. Saute onions and garlic. Add paprika, shrimp and/or scallops, sausage, and chicken. Turn off heat when chicken turns white but not fully cooked. Pour everything into the rice cooker. Add the turmeric, cumin, black pepper, the Better than Bouillon soup base and Bragg's Liquid Aminos. Stir to gently mix. Press the cook button on your rice cooker. That's it!