Ruz Sayadeya: Egyptian Seafood Rice: رز صيادية

Ruz Sayadeya is Egyptian seafood rice, and is known for its deep amber color and distinctive caramelized and spicy flavor. Ruz Sayadeya is served as a quintessential side dish to all types of Egyptian fish and seafood dishes. It is an easy, and wholesome addition to your rice repertoire.

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What Is Ruz Sayadeya Or Seafood Rice? 

Ruz means rice and Sayadeya means fish and seafood. So you guessed it right, Ruz Sayadeya is Egyptian seafood rice, that is served as a side dish with all types of fish and seafood dishes, such as the iconic Bran Coated Sea-bass.

Ruz Sayadeya is a unique Egyptian rice dish known for its rich amber color and depth of flavor, thanks to the spices and caramelized onions. This dish is easy to make if you master a couple of tricks.

What Rice To Use To Make “Ruz Sayadeya” Or Egyptian Seafood Rice? 

Typically, Egyptian short grain rice is used in this rice dish. The upside of Egyptian rice is that it is delicate and cooks in a snap.   It takes no more than 10 minutes to cook a pot of rice.

Egyptian short grain rice
Egyptian short grain rice . Stock image: Canva

While the downside is that Egyptian rice has a higher glycemic index compared to long grain rice like basmati, meaning that it raises the blood sugar quickly.

Additionally, Egyptian rice, given its delicate nature, could get mushy and lumpy if it is overcooked or if the quantity of liquid added exceeds the necessary.

If you decide to use basmati rice in this recipe, Please see notes.

How To Make Ruz Sayadeya Or Egyptian Seafood Rice? 

Ruz Sayadeya, or Egyptian seafood dish, is easy to make if you madter a few tricks:

  • Prep The Rice 

Measure and place the rice in a mesh sieve and rinse it with tap water several times until the water runs clear. Please don’t soak Egyptian rice, as it will damage its texture and affect its cooking time.

  • Caramelize The Onions

An epic Ruz Sayadeya, or Egyptian seafood rice, starts with a base of onions caramelized to perfection.  In a hot pan, add a drizzle of oil and then add the grated onions, spices, salt, and pepper then keep stirring over low heat until the onions are caramelized and have a deep amber color.

Add hot water to the caramelized onions and let them boil for a couple of minutes, until the onions are softened. At this point, use a hand-blender to turn the water and the caramelized onions into a rich flavored liquid.

  • Spice It Up 

Typically, this dish is seasoned with cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. However, if you tolerate heat then add one whole chili to cook with the rice. If not, you can just add cumin, coriander, and a dash of paprika. Let it boil for 5 minutes and then turn down the heat to low and let it simmer covered for another 5-7 minutes.

  • Seafood Broth

To accentuate the seafood flavor in this dish, a ladle of seafood broth would be ideal to add to the rice.

Yet, I realize that seafood broth is not something that we have handy. As an alternative, you can use seafood bouillon, better than bouillon , or you can simply add whole shrimps to the rice while it cooks.

Large prawns
Large Prawns. Stock Image: Canva

Eventually, the shrimp heads, tails, and shells will release a sea aroma that will impart its goodness in this magical pot of rice.

  • Fluff It Up

To reach the result of a fluffy rice, that is not lumpy, nor mushy, bring the rice  to a vigorous boil for 5 minutes first and then let it simmer for another 5 minutes, covered. Uncover the rice, fluff it with a fork and not a spoon to avoid breaking the rice down.

Check Out More Egyptian Seafood Recipes On My Blog 

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Ruz Sayadeya: Egyptian Seafood Dish




  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 big onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 seafood bouillon, optional
  • 2 cups Egyptian rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups water, hot
  •  1-2 chili pepper, whole
  • 9 whole large prawns (optional)


  1. Caramelize the onions: add 1 tablespoons of canola oil to a hot heavy bottom pan, add the onions, the spices, and the sugar. Keep stirring until the sugar is totally dissolved and the onions are caramelized and have a deep amber color.
  2. Make the broth: Add the hot water to the caramelized onions, dissolve 2 teaspoons of tomato paste and the seafood bouillon in the water. Bring the mix to a vigorous boil over medium heat for one minute. Blend the onions, with the water using a hand blender to form a rich, flavorsome broth.
  3. Cook the rice: Add the rice and stir it well in the broth. Arrange the prawns on top of the rice (if using), and 1 -2 whole chili. Keep the rice boiling for another 4 minutes. Lower the heat and let the rice gently simmer for 5 minutes, covered. After 5 minutes, uncover the rice, turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork to let the steam escape.
  4. Serve: Transfer the rice to a serving dish, garnish with green cilantro or parsley and lemon wedges. Serve the rice hot next to your main fish and seafood dish.
  5. Store: Keep the rice in an air tight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.


  • If you swap in basmati rice for Egyptian rice, then the ratio of rice to water becomes 1 : 1.5.
  • In case you don’t have a hand blender, use a regular blender.


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