Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sayadiya - Fisherman's Dish


A Lebanese traditional dish of fish onions and rice. It takes a little long to make, but it's worth all the effort!
  • 1 Pomfert fish ~1 kg (2.2 lb)
  • 3 cups light vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup flour with 1 ts each salt and cumin powder
  • 7 medium onions coarsely chopped/diced
  • 2 cups long grain rice (Do not use parboiled rice such as Uncle Ben's)
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 medium onion cut into thin wedges
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup tahina (sesame paste) 
1. Clean the fish and cut into 5 steaks

2. Heat vegetable oil in deep frying pan

3. Dip fish pices into the flour mixture to over evenly then fry in the hot oil (~10 minutes).

4.  Remove fish from oil and set aside to drain.

5. Pour 1 cup of the oil you fried fish in into a pot on medium heat.

6. Add the coarsely chopped to the pot and cook stirring occasionally until it wilts completely (20 to 30 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

7. Remove the bones from fish and arrange fish pieces at the bottom of an oven casserole (preferably Corningware).

8. Wash the rice many times and drain or soak for 10 minutes and drain.

9. Mix the rice and the wilted onions together.

10. Add the rice and onion mixture to the casserole on top of the fish.

11. Boil the 2 3/4 cups water with the the salt and cumin powder.

12. Pour the boiled water in the casserole gently so not to disturb the rice.

13. Bake the casserole covered in a 350 oF oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep covered (Do not uncover).

14. Sautee pine nuts till golden in 1 cup of the fish frying oil. HIDE THEM FROM YOUR HUSBAND URRRRRG!


1. Combine the wedged 4 onions, 1 cup water and salt in a pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.

2. Mix lemon juice with Tahina and mix well.

3. Add the boiled onion wedges with its stock to the tahina mixture and stir until smooth and homogeneous.


1. Turn over the fish and rice casserole on a tray or large plate. Leave it for 3 minutes until all the contents are transferred to the plate or tray.

2. Lift the casserole off and garnish the Sayadiya with the sauted pine nuts, if your husband left any!

3. Serve hot with the tahina-onion sauce.


  1. Yum! I'm gonna try this next time I go to the pike place fish market:) -Nahil

  2. Yeah, I' encourage you. It is simple, yet delicious! No other fish dish tastes like it. Let me know when you do. Hop you're settled in and like where you are and what you do.

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