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Sayadiyeh "fish and rice"

Sayadiyeh or fish with rice:

Lebanon is known as one of the Mediterranean Sea side countries, where Lebanese people love the sea between fishing and preparing special seafood dishes including this recipe. That’s why the word sayadieh comes from the word “sayad” which means fisherman.

The Lebanese cuisine is the ideal of the Mediterranean fish dishes including this distinctive one. Like any other regional dish it has its variations, Sayadiyeh is made of fish, rice flavored with caramelized onions and many different spices like cumin, allspice and other spices. Usually the fish should be fried for this dish to be done but I am going to represent to you a lighter version resulting with the same amazing taste.

If you like to prepare the sayadieh by frying the fish, just season with salt and fry them then stir fry the onion using a small amount from the oil you used for frying.

Preparation time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 50 mins



4 medium white fish (cod, red snapper and 5 white fish fillets)

spices for the fish: "Salt, garlic powder, black pepper, rosemary and one lemon sliced"

1 large onion

2 cups long grain rice

Cooking or olive oil as you desire

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp allspice

2 bay leaves

2 cinnamon sticks

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup peeled almonds


1 tbsp flour

1 tbsp corn starch

1 tbsp lemon juice

PREPARATIONS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a roasting pan with 2 tbsp of oil, one tsp of salt and all the spices including the rosemary. Season the fish inside out with the mixture of spices. Place the lemon slices inside the fish and on top then bake for 30 mins or until they are done. Now remove the heads and the scales of the fish and set aside.

In a large pot fry the onions with 1 tbsp of oil until dark but not burned, this gives the rice a beautiful colour and delicious flavor. Reduce the heat to low, add the heads and scales and stir for 2 mins then add 7 cups of water, 1 1/2 tsp salt, the bay leaves, the cinnamon stick. Let it cook for 30 mins, add the cumin and the allspice few mins before you turn off the heat.

Strain all the ingredients in the pot to get the fish broth which it is going to be used for the rice and the sauce. Wash the rice few times, in another pot stir fry the rice over medium heat with 2 tbsp of oil for few mins then add around 4 cups from the broth and let it simmer for 15 mins.

Make sure that you reserve one and a half cup for the sauce. Roast the pine nuts and the almonds separately in a large pan or skillet until golden. In a serving plate put the rice first and cover it with the pieces of fish then sprinkle the roasted pine nuts and almonds.

The sauce: in a small pot pour the rest of the stock, the flour, the corn starch and the lemon juice adding 1/4 tsp of cumin then boil for few mins over medium heat. Serve the sauce in a porringer on the side.

Sayadieh is one of the famous fish dishes in our Lebanese cuisine and a distinguished one. Don’t hesitate to try this fish and rice dish for your family and especially for guests, it represents a delicious and distinctive platter.


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