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Fried Fish With Rice (Kuwaiti & Emirati)

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“This very tasty fish with rice is often served in homes in the Arabian Gulf. Kuwaitis in particular love Zubadi (Silver Pomfret) fish that is local but can be found in the frozen section of many Middle Eastern or Asian shops. (You may have to degut them yourself). While some prefer to eat them with rice alone, others like ourselves, make Kuwaiti Tomato Sauce (Dukkous Al-Tamat) to serve as an accompaniment. This recipe is a combination from three sources which all deserve credit, Sa-mak ma-ga-lee - Fried Fish from From "The Complete United Arab Emirates Cookbook", by Celia Ann Brock- Al Ansari, Mtabag Simach from "Cardamom and Lime: Recipes from the Arabian Gulf", by Sarah Al-Hamad, and”
1hr 25mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash fish, clean well leaving on heads, make sure scales are all removed and fish is degutted.
  2. Wash the white Basmati rice well and leave to soak for 15-30 minutes depending on quality of rice.
  3. Bring a large pan of water to a boil put in the fish, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and clove and simmer until cooked.
  4. Remove the fish and reserve the cooking water.
  5. Cut some gashes across the fish and rub on some bahrat and the minced garlic then pour fresh lemon juice over top. Refrigerate for up to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Cook Basmati rice with as much reserved cooking liquid as needed, sea salt and the loomis.
  7. Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the onions until soft and golden adding the turmeric, some sea salt and 1/4 tsp bahrat.
  8. Mix 2/3 of the onions into the cooked rice & sprinkle the remaining onion mixture over top.
  9. After the fish has marinated, pat dry with paper towel.
  10. Preheat oven to 275F (not very high).
  11. Heat 1/2 inch oil (vegetable or light olive) until hot in a pan and fry the fish one at a time until golden brown, then drain on paper towel.
  12. Place fish on top of rice, cover with aluminum foil and set in preheated oven for 1 hour.
  13. Serve with lemon and lime wedges, radishes if wished, and Recipe #387327 for a wonderful authentic Kuwaiti meal.
  14. Don't forget to eat this with your 3 first fingers of the right had keeping food from going above the mid knuckles!
  15. Enjoy!

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