Makloubeh, which translates literally into “upside down”, is a famous Levantine dish. You will find different variants throughout Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon. What is unique about this meal is that it is a one pot meal of meat, rice, vegetables and spices that is flipped upside down onto a large platter before being served. There are numerous variations as to how to best prepare Makloubeh. You can use lamb, mutton, chicken or beef instead of fish. The basic techniques remain the same.
There are two basic components to the dish, marinading and cooking of the fish and the preparation of the rice. Although not a difficult dish to make, the key is for the rice to be finished cooking when you have finished frying the fish.
Fish: Ingredients & Instructions:
- 2 – 2 1/4 Pounds of Tilapia filet (you can choose any other type of fish filet)
- 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil to fry the fish
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon of White Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Fish Spice (can be found in any well stocked spice shelf of the grocery store)
- 1 Orange cut into thin slices
- 2 Lemons cut into thin slices
- 3 Garlic Cloves diced thin
- 1/4 Cup of Vegetable Oil (Marinade)
- 1/2 Cup of sliced Almonds
- The night before you are going to prepare the meal in a large bow or Pyrex dish mix well the Salt, White Pepper, Fish Spice, Vegetable Oil, Oranges, Lemon and Garlic. Then add the fish and cover.
- After the rice has cooked, heat the Olive Oil / Vegetable Oil in a non stick skillet on Medium to Medium-High.
- Cook the fish until it is golden brown (about three minutes per side).
- Heat oil in a nonstick pan and fry fish on both sides until is golden.
- Remove cooked fish filets from the skillet, and lightly cover them with aluminum foil to keep them warm.
- Lightly fry almonds in the same oil and then drain them on a paper towel.
Rice: Ingredients & Instructions:
- 2 Cups of Basmati Rice, washed and drained
- 2 1/4 Cups of Fish broth or Chicken broth
- 1 Cup of Thawed Vegetable Medley (peas, green beans, carrots…)
- 2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
- 1 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Turmeric
- Pour fish broth (or chicken broth) into a saucepan, add rice and bring it to a boil.
- Cover saucepan and reduce heat to low and cook the rice for 10-12 minutes.
- Turn heat off and keep it covered for another 10 minutes.
- Remove cover, add salt, butter, turmeric, vegetable medley and gently stir all ingredients into the rice.
Bringing the Fish and the Rice together:
- Place the fish fillets on the bottom of another circular pot.
- Add rice mixture on top and push down.
- Place a large circular serving dish on the top of the pot, then flip the pot with the fish and rice upside down. Do this carefully carefully so to not lose the shape of the dish.
- Gently pull the pot upwards away from the circular serving dish.
- Add the almonds as decoration and serve hot with a fresh vegetable salad.