Fish with spiced rice and caramelized onion

fish with spiced rice and caramelized onion
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A sensational dish of the Syrian coast on the mediterranean. Rice is cooked with catamelized onion and fragrant spice,and toppeed with seared fish. This dish is renown as Sayadieh.


Marinate Fish:
The Rice:

Step by Step method

Marinade the Fish: 

  1. Mix ground spices (Cumin, Paprika, Coriander,Salt and Pepper).
  2. Marinade fish with garlic, and spice mix. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Cooking Rice:

  1. Wash rice and soak in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Saute onion in a pot until caramelized.
  3. Keep 1/3 of the onion aside for garnish. 
  4. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  5. Add water and set the heat to medium. 
  6. In a cheese cloth, add the whole spices (Ginger, Cumin, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Black pepper, and Cloves). Tie and dip in Water.
  7. Add salt, head fish and bring to boil. Simmer fpr 15 minutes. 
  8. Remove spices and fish head. 
  9. Puree the onion in the blender or food processor and return to the stock.
  10. Add rice to the stock and bring to boil.
  11. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until the rice is cooked. Add 1/4 cup of water half way through if needed.


  1. Heat oil in a frying pan. 
  2. Add fish and fry for 4 minutes on each side.
  3. Pile rice in a serving paltter. top with fish. Garnish with caramelized onions and suteed pinenuts. 
  4. Serve hot with Tarator on the side.

Tips & variations

  • If whole spices are not available, use half the portion of ground spices.

  • you can replace the fish head with fish bones or just use ready made fish stock instead of water.

  • You can grill, bake or even add the fillets to the stock to cook with the rice instead of frying them.