We raise tilapia at our Little Farm – here is a wonderful paella our farm manager Max made for us – yum!


Tilapia is a very low fat, low calorie fish. When fresh it is truly delightful and even fresh frozen can be good.

We have been raising tilapia for years now – and lately had too many in one hatchery even though they were rather small. They need room to grow so we decided to cull about a dozen and eat them – in a dish like Paella the small size of the fish is not as relevant as when served alone.

Here are the various steps – all managed and prepared by our farm manager Max whose Mexican heritage from Jalisco made a truly delicious dish for our family and his. We were grateful for that since this is labor heavy – lots of skinning, boning and chopping involved!


  • Tilapia – boned and skinned – about 2 lbs
  • Chicken thighs ( 1) and breasts ( 1) skinned and boned and cut into bite sized pieces
  • Shrimp ( fresh) 1 lb peeled and deveined
  • 1 leek sliced
  • Fresh hulled green peas – 1 cup
  • Elephant Garlic 2 cloves sliced thin
  • Tomatoes ( 1 lb) skinned by roasting briefly over a flame and skinning, and chopped
  • Pepper ( 1 green and 1 red ) chopped
  • Rice – 1 cup
  • 2 cups of chicken stock ( we had just made chicken soup so we added that strained)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Saffron 1/2 tsp
  • Olive oil 8 tbspMax fishing with a net in our hatchery for the tilapia

Paella Ingredients with Little Farm Tilapia Tilapia Max Skinning and Boning


  1. Soak the rice in cold water for half hour then drain
  2. Chop all ingredients, clean. skin, bone and prepare the Tilapia and place the oil in a large pan
  3. Heat the oil and break one bay leaf into two and add to the oil
  4. Saute  a few strands of saffron with 1/3 of the garlic and all chicken first until browned slightly
  5. Add the tilapia and saute with the chicken  adding another 1/3 of the garlic.
  6. Add the shrimp and rest of the garlic and saute on medium heat for a few minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK
  7. Take all of it out of the pan and put into a plate on the side.
  8. Now add to the original pan  the soaked rice (drained). Saute for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the leeks, and then two cups of chicken stock per cup of rice
  10. Then add the peppers and tomatoes
  11. Add a half teaspoon of saffron
  12. Simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is cooked – remove the two halves of bay leaf
  13. Add the chicken, fish, shrimp mixture on top -very gently place some of the rice on top of some of the mixture but do not mix -season with salt and pepper
  14. Add the peas at the last minute and let them cook from the heat of the combination for 10 minutes .
  15. Cover the pan with cheesecloth to absorb the condensation from the pan cover over the pan, then cover that with the lid.
  16. Turn off the heat – it will keep warm for about 30 minutes – but try to serve pretty quickly after it is done.
  17. We squeezed a few drops of meyer lemon over each serving and served it with a side of sliced ripe avocado.
  18. YUMMYPaella with Peas at end

Wrapping cheesecloth around paella pan before putting on the lidPutting lid onto PaellaPLated paella final



About Grandma

I have reinvented myself many times during my life -teacher, lawyer, business woman, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member, Professor, Mom, Wife, Farmer, Chef, Musician, Author and now my best role of all - Grandma to multiple grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces worldwide.
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