This post is sponsored by Filippo Berio. All ideas are my own. Sayadieh is a classic Middle Eastern rice and fish dish that consists of fried white fish, fluffy spiced rice, caramelized onions, and a tahini salad. For this recipe, I decided not to deep fry my fish like most traditional sayadieh recipes to make it healthier and less messy! Trust me, it is just as good this way and better for you too! Now, if you ask me, my favorite part is the caramelized onions in the rice and the whole dish in general paired with the refreshing tahini salad. It is so so good and doesn’t take much time at all making it perfect for a weeknight meal. My husband loved it!
What does Sayadieh mean to me?
This dish in my opinion is the most popular seafood meal in a Middle Eastern household. I have enjoyed it on several occasions when visiting family overseas in Jordan. Seafood is expensive over there too so you knew it was a special occasion if sayadieh was on the table. So, this is one of those dishes that holds nostalgia for me. I remember myself on my uncle’s dining room table and my aunt bringing out this platter of seasoned rice with a whole fried fish on top. I recall my uncle taking apart the fish and removing the bones for me then placing it on my plate waiting for me to enjoy. My parents didn’t eat it often either as my family were mainly carnivores and not huge fans of fish but that made it extra special when we did have Sayaideh together. My mom would fry the fish so you would smell that as soon as you walked into the door. She too would serve it with this tahini salad also known as bakdonseeyeh and season the fish and rice with just cumin.
What do you need to make Sayadieh?
- Good Quality White Fish– this recipe won’t taste good with salmon for instance. You need a delicate white fish such as cod, halibut, or snapper. I typically get my fillets at Whole Foods as I find their fish the freshest.
- Caramelized Onions– to me, this is the best part and cannot be overlooked. Thinly slice onions cooked in olive oil until golden crisp. These onions will be used in both the rice and as a garnish.
- Tahini Salad– this is a must with this recipe. I cannot imagine eating it without. I grew up enjoying this salad with seafood in general. The tahini salad offers a refreshing side dish to this meal which needs that acidity and brightness.
- Good Quality Olive oil– the only olive oil I buy at supermarkets is Filippo Berio. The quality is unmatched and they have an array of choices like extra virgin olive oil, delicate extra virgin olive oil, robust olive oil, and their standard olive oil which I used for this recipe as it has a higher smoke point perfect for sauteeing. The bottle is pictured below for a reference! I used it throughout the entire meal. To cook the onions, pan sear the fish, and even in the rice. They have been around since 1867 which alone shows how amazing and trustworthy their products are. I personally use them all the time and I highly recommend it.
Sayadieh (Fish & Rice)
- 1 lb Cod, cut into fillets or any white fish; like halibut
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 1/2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp Filippo Berio Olive Oil for pan searing
- 1.5 cups White Rice rinsed, and drained
- 1 tbsp Filippo Berio Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1 Bouillon Cube
- 3/4 Caramelized Cooked onions from below
- 3 Yellow onions thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp Filippo Berio Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 cup Parsley Finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Tomatoes Finely diced
- 3/4 cup Tahini
- 1 Large Lemon's juice add more for extra tanginess
- 1/2 cup Water to thin out salad, add more or less to your thicness preferance
- 1 Garlic clove minced or crushed
- Salt to taste
- First, mix together all the ingredients for the salad then set aside.
- Secondly, prepare the onions by adding olive oil to a skillet then the onions and seasonings. Stir and cook on medium heat until the onions becomes caramelized and slightly crisp. 3/4 of the cooked onions will go to the rice and the rest as garnish.
- To prepare the rice, add the rinsed rice to a pot with all the other ingredients then mix together. Add 3 cups of water or stock to this. Bring to a boil then a simmer and cook until fluffy and the water has evaporated.
- For the fish, pat it dry then season on both sides with the above seasonings. Then, add the olive oil to a pan. You can use the same one the onions were cooked in. Have the stove on medium high heat then cook the fish for 4-5 minutes each side. Be very gentle when flipping the fish. The fish should be seared and cooked throughout.
- To assemble, add the rice to the servings dish then top with the extra caramelized onions. Add the fish on top of that then add some toasted slivered almonds and parsley as garnish. Serve with the refreshing tahini salad. Enjoy!