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Sayadeya = Damiettan Fish Soup with Blackened Onions
(5 servings/ all seasons/ 65 minutes)

Cutting Board
1 deep pan
1 medium skillet
1 wooden spoon

1 kg Sea bass
3 cups Egyptian rice
3 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup vinegar
3 onions – large size, finely chopped or grated
2 lemons
Salt and pepper

Food Groups Present in the Recipe
Meat: Fish
Cereals: rice
Vegetables: Onions
Fruits: Lemons
Olive oil

Clean and wash fish well. Cut into steaks 1.5 cm thin. Sauté the onions in 2 Tbsp. olive oil until they are mostly black, about 20-30 minutes. Blend onions in a blender or food processor with 2 tbsp water.
Fill ¾ of a deep pan with water (about 8 cups) and put over medium-high heat. Add onions mixture, vinegar, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Add fish steaks, Lemon juice and Salt to the pan and leave to boil for 10 minutes until fish color turns brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
Put 4 cups of onion soup in a medium deep non-stick pan over medium heat. Wash rice well and drain. Add rice and stir until water is almost absorbed. Cover, move to low heat and leave to cook for 20-25 minutes.

Kid’s participation
Suggest, always at the discretion of the parent or responsible adult and depending on age, the child to measure the water for the soup and add it to the pan. Same applies to the rice cups. The child can also try to wash the rice.

Serve rice in a platter and arrange fish slices on top or serve separately. Put remaining soup in a serving bowl.
Nutritional & cultural curiosities
Throughout Egypt, Damietta is known for its intricately carved furniture, its marvelous sweets, and its Sayadiya. The secret is in the onions. They must be cooked for a very long time, until they are chocolate brown and mostly black but are not burned. Those last shades of color are critical, and give this soup a flavor like no other. The traditional way of eating sayadiya is by serving the rice in one bowl and the fish and broth in another bowl. A spoonful of rice is taken from the rice bowl, dipped in the broth, then eaten.

Useful tip
You can fry fish steaks instead of boiling them in onions mixture. Only reduce quantity of water added in step (3) to 4 cups and when it boils, add rice and follow the rest of the steps as stated.

Publish date 14/04/2014 17:16
Last updated 14/04/2014 17:18