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Sayyadieh Middle Eastern Fish Pilaf

sayyadieh served in a pan

The word Sayyadieh comes from the word Sayd and it means to hunt or to fish in Arabic. This dish is mostly prepared using fish but you can rarely find it made with chicken. It is a Middle Eastern dish, some say from Lebanon, others say it’s from Palestine but for today, this dish is from my kitchen!

sayyadieh with wooden spoon

Making Sayydieh with Different Types of Fish.

I prefer cooking with Basa fish since it has a mild flavor and when you cook Basa, even if you fry it, the smell of fried fish won’t fill your house, this is a great advantage, if you are having guests over. You don’t have to fight the smell of fish out of your house and having said that, you can use any type of fish you like.

sayyadieh overhead shot

Sayyadieh is available in different versions, I choose the version with more spices and flavor because you know how particular I am about good tasting food, besides I won’t share it with you if it didn’t meet the expectations.

This recipe is easy to make and light, perfect if you are working since it doesn’t take much time, and is easy on your wallet too.

sayyadieh served in cast iron skillet

When making Syyadieh be careful when seasoning it with salt, most of the time the stock has plenty of salt. I have used long grain rice, feel free to use any type of rice you prefer but keep in mind that according to the type you choose you may add more or less water to cook the rice.

Let’s make dinner!

sayyadieh 3

Sayyadieh Middle Eastern Fish Pilaf

5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Author: Muna Kenny


  • 1 cup long grain rice washed and soaked for 15 minutes
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ¼ teaspoon clove powder
  • 2 cup fish stock or chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ cup roasted pine nuts for garnishing optional
  • 500 gm Basa fillet or two fillets cut into 3-inch cubes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper
  • Enough oil to shallow fry the fish


  • In a pan, add the oil and when hot add the onion and fry until brown in color. Add the spices and mix for one minute on medium heat.
  • Add the stock and let it come to a boil. Add the soaked and rinsed rice and let the mixture come to a boil again. Cover and reduce the heat to the lowest.
  • After 15 minutes, uncover the pan and stir the rice gently, cover and let it cook for another 17 to 18 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  • Season the fish, both side with salt and black pepper. Dredge in flour and keep aside.
  • Heat the oil and fry the fish on both sides until golden brown.
  • Transfer the rice to a serving plate, place the fish over the rice and sprinkle the pine nuts.
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  1. A fantastic every day meal, Muna, and the fish is perfectly pan seared.

  2. That looks delicious! I’ve never head a dish like this before. I love all the flavors here, though. I’ll have to give it a try.

  3. GAH! This looks so delicious! I kind of want to send my husband a grocery list and see if I can whip this up today! You got me with the ability to make it and not slave over the stove for hours!

  4. This looks delicious. I love fish. Your other dishes look great too.

  5. Roger D Willis

    I’d be lying if I said I like to eat fish. I mean, I don’t dislike it. I have to be in a mood for it. I understand the high nutritional value of fish, and should add some to my diet. This recipe looks like a winner!

  6. This looks really yummy! I love that it is a complete meal. We have been looking for other ways to cook our fish, this is going right on the meal plan!

  7. That looks like it tastes really good! It’s always a plus when it isn’t too hard to make either. I like that you can use any fish you want to as well.

  8. Wow, what a delicious dish! I think this would be a lovely meal to make for my family. Trying Basa would be fun!

  9. Claudia Krusch

    Fish is always a popular dish in my house. This Sayyadieh Middle Eastern Fish Pilaf looks so delicious and easy to make. I am excited to give it a try.

  10. I’m always looking for new recipes to try. This looks really tasty!!!!! I will add this to next week’s meal plan.

  11. LOVE the quality of these photos!! The fish looks good too. 🙂

  12. krystal

    Sayyadieh is new to us but it looks like a delicious dish! I am really into seafood so this would be a new way to make it!

  13. Amy Desrosiers

    Ok, I have never head of this but I am glad I found it. These dishes look so fantastic!

  14. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday as an alternative to paella as I did not have any left over chicken. I tweeked it a bit to fit our taste and larder with the addition of some diced red pepper and half a green chilli (finely diced). I also used frozen fish pie mix as I did b=not have basa fillets. I laid the fish on the rice to steam from frozen about ten minutes from cooked. I rested the dish as descibed above and it was, to quote my wife, “yummy”.

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