Fish of the UAE – Sultan Ibrahim

Today and the next few days I will share with you a few kinds of fish found here in the UAE.  My husband is a fisherman and MashaAllah (how Allah wills) he brings home fish on a regular basis, Alhamdulilah (thanks to Allah).

Because each emirate here in the UAE is located on the Arabian Gulf you will find a fish souk.  Every day of the year you can find a variety of fresh fish and each fish has its own season.  Now that is colder weather fish like Shari and from the Jesh family are huge…about 2.5 to 4 kgs!

When shopping at the fish souk (Souq As-Samak) you will find two groups of fish.  One group is the fish that are caught by the fishing dhows in which the dhows go out on fishing trips that last about 10 days to 2 weeks.  Whenever fish is caught by a dhow they are kept in the boat’s freezer compartment for that amount of time and then brought to the fish souk to be sold.  The fish is still technically fresh (fresh frozen) and still good to buy of course.  The main stalls of the fish market sell fish from the dhows.

The other group of fish are the ones caught by fisherman who go out for 1 or 2 days and will bring back very fresh fish (some of which are still alive).  When buying fish from these fisherman you will find them on the outer perimeter of the souk.

Sultan Ibrahim (Threadfin Bream)

Sultan Ibrahim is best bought small (about 6 to 8 inches) if you should buy this fish bigger than that it has no taste at all.  This is one of my favorite fish to eat because it tastes so much like shrimp…but cheaper. :)

I season this with some local Arabian spice called bizar, salt, and tumeric and then deep-fry it until it is crunchy.

Fried fish at my home is always served with basmati rice and daqoos along with a variety of fresh greens like arugula and green onions.

This is picture of what I cooked the other day:  Sultan Ibrahim and Garfa.

More about fish tomorrow, InshaAllah (if Allah wills).

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3 responses to “Fish of the UAE – Sultan Ibrahim

  1. Masha Allah, how Allah (SWT) as given you and your family such risiq…….fresh fish from the gulf! If there is one thing I miss the most from Dubai is the fresh seafood. Alhumdulillah, I will travel to Dubai in February. My husband and I always go to Souq As Samak in Dubai and pick out our lunch, have the fish/shrimp prepared, get some fresh greens and go by the water and enjoy our lunch!! Yes, it’s so sha’abi I know but it is one of the best meals I ever have there in Dubai. I so miss the Zubaidi, Hamoor, and the fresh shrimp! I’m so looking foward to your khaleeji/Emirati fish recipies :)

    Mashkoora wa Allah ateesh il3afia for sharing

  2. Thank you for such a lovely comment. Last night on one of the local shows they featured on cafeteria in Jumeirah that is frequented by the boatmen in the mornings but is very busy at night serving fresh fish just like you described…and it is the best way to each the fish :)

  3. You know I love cooking with this fish it taste so nice mashAllah.

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