The Classic Sayadieh: Lebanese Fish with Rice

The Classic Sayadieh: Lebanese Fish with Rice

A family dish prepared with rice and fish then garnished with fried onions, almonds and pine nuts. Enjoy!

Cooka Beirut


12 servings
  1. 2 kg sea bass, or any other large white fish such as red snapper or cod
  2. 3 cups long grain rice, rinsed and drained
  3. 3 large onions
  4. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  6. 1/2 cup raw pine nuts
  7. 1/2 cups almonds
  8. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  9. 1 teaspoon cumin
  10. 1 teaspoon caraway
  11. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  12. 2 teaspoons salt


60 mins
  1. Add Photo

    In a pan, fry the almonds and pine nuts in 3 tablespoons vegetable oil until they turn light brown. Remove from pan and set aside on a kitchen absorbent paper. Reserve the pan for frying the fish.

  2. Add Photo

    Rub the inside and outside of the fish with some salt and olive oil.

  3. Add Photo

    Add the remaining vegetable oil to the pan and fry the fish until tender. Turn off the heat.

  4. Add Photo

    Remove the fish from the pan and keep the oil in the pan.

  5. Add Photo

    Peel the skin off, and remove the bones and head. Discard the bones and keep the head. Cut the fish flesh into big serving pieces and set aside.

  6. Add Photo

    Fry the onions, in the reserved oil in the pan, until crispy and brown in color. Remove 3 tablespoons of the fried onions and keep aside for the garnish.

  7. Add Photo

    Add the fish head, the spices, and 4 cups of hot water to the fried onions in the pan. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 30 min on medium heat or until the onions become very soft.

  8. Add Photo

    Remove the fish head. Bring the sauce to a boil then add the rice. Cover the pan and cook the rice over low heat for 25 min. Add more hot water if needed and taste to see if more salt and seasoning is needed. The rice is cooked when all water has evaporated.

  9. Add Photo

    Put the rice in a serving plate. Place the fried fish pieces on top and sprinkle with the fried onions, pine nuts and almonds. Serve immediately.

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