Finely chop the ginger, garlic and onions. Cut asparagus into halves, and the red bell pepper into thin strips. Cut the chicken into big pieces and de-vein the shrimp.
Add 500 ml of hot water, soup stock, saffron, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a small pot. Cook on low heat.
In a shallow pan, heat olive oil and lightly stir fry asparagus and red bell peppers. Remove them from the pan. Continue cooking chicken and shrimp until browned and season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan.
Add more olive oil to the pan and stir fry garlic and onions. Add rice and stir fry until the rice becomes transparent.
Pour the soup from Step 2 onto the rice and spread out the rice evenly. Arrange the chicken, shrimp, hamaguri clams, red bell peppers, and asparagus. Space them out evenly.
Place the lid on and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. (Taste the rice and if it's still hard, steam a little more.) Serve with lemon.
Story Behind this Recipe
A senior co-worker of mine made me this dish years ago, and I was impressed that you can make it at home. She gave me the recipe and it has changed as I've made it over and over. I stopped using the paella pan because it was shallow, difficult to mix in, and made my stove dirty. You can make a good paella just by using a frying pan or a shallow pot. I've been using my beloved "Le Creuset" pan.
It looks very nice if you use blue mussels, but I couldn't acquire any this time so I used hamaguri clams instead. You can also use asari clams. I'd like readers to add some kind of clam because it gives off a delicious soup. It's not exciting unless the rice is yellow. If the saffron doesn't give it enough color, add turmeric or a little bit of yellow food coloring.