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!


  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


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

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

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

  5. 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. 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 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. 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. 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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Cooka Beirut
  • 20 recipes
  • Beirut، Lebanon

Even though i lived and grew up in Lebanon, i really like Syrian food. This is the food i used to have at home since my mom is Syrian and she's a great cook. Many people think Syrian and Lebanese food are similar, they are not really. My mother cooks some traditional Syrian dishes that you only find in Syrian families. I got some of her recipes, and i really enjoy cooking them from time to time. It always get good reviews… My Moroccan sister-in-law has also taught me some of her recipes that I shared on shahiya; I think it is fun to exchange recipes with others and try new ones. Besides cooking I also enjoy eating :) and living in Beirut helps a lot in this! . Beirut restaurants are the best…. Favorite things to cook: Sayadieh and Lamb and Freeke