We're always excited to explore new worlds and flavors through cuisine from different countries. Middle Eastern cuisine, hailing from places such as Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and more, is a delectable culinary journey we think many of you would love to savor.
Many of us may mistakenly think of Middle Eastern cuisine as shwarma, gyros, doner kebabs, and pitas, but it is much more. Middle Eastern cuisine is infinitely varied and widespread, with varying dishes featuring regional flavors from city to city, town to town, and family to family. The Middle East refers to Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen. There are thousands upon thousands of different recipes, flavors, and cooking to explore regarding Middle Eastern cuisine.
We can't cover them all in one place, but we're eager to share some of our favorite Middle Eastern Seafood recipes to help expand your palate and make your next meal an exciting experience!
This seafood recipe features warm and comforting Mediterranean spices, sweet and caramelized onions paired with perfectly cooked fish, and soft, fluffy rice. What's even more mouth-watering? It's a relatively simple dish, perfect for nights when you want something easy to make but packed with flavor.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3-4 onions, chopped
- 2 cups basmati white rice
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for the fish
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper, plus more for the fish
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 and ½ pounds of cod fish fillets or your favorite white flakey fish
- ½ cup slivered almonds for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley for garnish
How to Make:
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep-sided skillet.
- Chop onions and fry in the skillet until lightly golden brown, roughly 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs mostly clear. Once rinsed, transfer to the skillet with onions. Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger. Toss well to combine and lightly toast the rice with spices for about five minutes.
- Add four cups of water to the skillet, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook covered until the rice is tender about 18 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the rice to rest in the pot for another 5 minutes without opening the lid to absorb the rest of the liquid.
- As the rice is cooking, pat the fish with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides—fry in a skillet with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Work in two batches to avoid overcrowding depending on the size of your skillet. Cook for about five minutes or until the edges start to color. Turn the cod over and cook for another 3-4.
- Serve the cod broken up or as a whole fillet on top of the rice, garnish with almonds and parsley and enjoy!
Samak Mashwi is grilled fish with Egyptian influences. Whole striped bass is thrown onto the grill, skink and all, for a crispy, delicious, moist fish using a simple Egyptian technique to keep the fish from being dry, and it's a relatively easy recipe!
- 2 medium whole striped bass, around 2 or 2 and a half pounds. -`You can also use sea bass or red snapper
- ½ Lemon
For the Fish Rub and Marinade:
- Juice of 3 limes
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped scallion or green onion
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 red chile pepper finely chopped (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup burghul (crushed wheat) or Semolina flour
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh rosemary
- Parsley to garnish
For the Wine Sauce (When serving)
- 1 medium whole head of garlic
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 chicken bouillion cube
- ½ cup dry white wine
- Juice of 2 limes
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make
- If possible, use a fish basket made for grilling. It is optional but will make this much easier to flip the fish on your grill.
- Clean the fish by rubbing it with salt and the ½ of the lemon, reducing any fishy smell, then rinse with water and thoroughly pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
- Combine all the Fish Rub and Marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse just a few times to incorporate everything. Set the mixture aside.
- Cut into the belly of the fish from neck to tail if it hasn't been pre-cut. Fill the fish with about ¾ of the Marinade and Rub with a spoon, leaving 1/4th of the Marinade aside. Close the fish, and cut three diagonal slits into the skin, penetrating the fish. Fill the slits with the remaining Rub, doing this to both sides. For the best flavor, cover the fish and let it marinate overnight.
- Remove the fish from the refrigerator and gently roll it in the burghul. This prevents the fish from burning and drying out on the grill—place thyme and rosemary sprigs directly on top of the fish.
- Place the fish on a hot grill and cook each side on medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.
- While the fish is on the grill, make the wine sauce. Sautee the garlic in butter over low heat, add the bouillion cube and stir until dissolved. Add the white wine and let the sauce simmer for about 3 more minutes. Turn the heat off and add the lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
- After removing the fish from the grill, pour the hot wine and garlic sauce over the fish as soon as possible. Decorate with chopped parsley and serve immediately. Bel hana swell sheffah! (Bon appetite!)
We hope we've sparked your interest and excitement in trying these delicious Middle Eastern fish recipes! Let us help you make your next meal the best yet with the freshest seafood delivered right to your door and boundless cooking ideas you'll love to try!