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Big Island’s Kohanaiki Paella Valencia

Big Island’s Kohanaiki Paella Valencia

A seafood favorite, learn how to make paella valencia from the Big Island made with fresh lobster and Abalone.
By Michelle M. Winner

Paella Valencia image: Kurt Winner

Kurt Winner

Along the stark black lava of the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii’s Kohala Coast there is an exclusive new oceanfront property called KohanaikiWe know that our readers are from all over the world, so even if you are not in the market to buy a get-away in Hawaii, at least you can feast on this delicious recipe for Kohanaiki Paella with complements from chef Patrick Heymann.

Chef Patrick Heymann prepares his Paella Valencia.
Chef Patrick Heymann prepares his Paella Valencia.

Kohanaiki has custom lots on which to build your own Hawaii home, or perhaps choose from a luxurious  home or town home that is already built. The appeal is that it will be sanctuary away from the rest of the world but the property will provide offerings of activities that appreciate the Hawaiian-style laid back lifestyle. Besides access to the Big Island’s culture (a heia’u or temple, of King Kamehameha I is in same district), an environmentally sustainable infrastructure, 18-hole Rees Jones championship golf course featuring six oceanfront holes, a huge clubhouse Hale Club designed by Shay Zak, a world-class spa and fitness center, and tennis courts. Ocean lovers like me will be delighted to learn new skills like outrigger canoe sailing and surfing organized by Kohanaiki’s Adventure Team. But here is the star in my food-centric world; there will be a 120-seat restaurant. Think of a spectacular Kohala Coast sunset wine dinner paired with island seafood. . . like this paella?

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Big Island’s Kohanaiki Resort: Paella Valencia

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  • Author: Chef Patrick Heymann
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


Kohanaiki shares a seafood favorite. There are many steps but it is not difficult to prepare. On the Big Island there is access to live lobster and Abalone in the nearby Kona area.


  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 16 large shrimp (about 12 ounces, peeled and deveined)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón dulce)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless (skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 8 ounces Linguisa (cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (as needed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (med dice)
  • 1 ea. Red (green bell pepper med dice)
  • 23 bulbs fresh fennel
  • 2 medium garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 large pinch saffron threads
  • 2 cups paella rice (about 1 pound, sometimes labeled Valencia (Uncle Ben’s is a great substitute))
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning the shrimp and chicken)
  • 4 cups 1 quart chicken broth
  • 16 mussels (manila clams, or a combination, scrubbed and steamed open in white wine)
  • 2 ea. Maine lobsters precooked and broken down and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves


  1. Sauté 1 medium onion, 2 bulbs fennel, 2 carrots, 2 ribs celery, 3 cloves garlic until tender.
  2. Add canned diced tomatoes and chicken stock, simmer and puree.
  3. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon of the paprika, and season with salt and pepper: Toss to combine and refrigerate.
  4. Place the chicken in a medium bowl and season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
  5. Place a 15-inch paella pan on the stove and heat until hot, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is starting to brown and the fat is rendered, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a large bowl; set aside.
  8. There should be a thin layer of rendered fat in the pan.
  9. If there’s not enough, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  10. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan in a single layer, and sear, stirring occasionally, until both sides of the chicken pieces are golden brown, about 6 minutes total. (You will need to rotate the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the heat.)
  11. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the bowl with the chorizo; set aside.
  12. Add the onion and peppers to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed or moving the paella pan.
  13. Add the garlic, remaining 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and saffron, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  14. Add the reserved tomato/chicken stock and cook until the mixture has slightly darkened in color, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes.
  15. Add the rice and measured salt and stir to coat in the tomato mixture.
  16. Fold in the lobster, clams and mussels
  17. Add the broth and stir to combine.
  18. Arrange the rice mixture in an even layer. Distribute the reserved chorizo and chicken over the rice, adding any accumulated juices from the bowl.
  19. Tips: Do not stir the rice from this point on. Make sure you use a copper Paella pan.
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Spanish Seafood


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