Sabzi Polo ba Mahi (Persian Herbed Rice and Fish) – Pacific Northwest Style

Sabzi Polo ba Mahi (Herbed Rice and Fish) is a traditional Persian New Year dish and a favorite in our house.  While living in Delaware, I typically made the dish using tilapia.

sabzi polo10

Now that we are living in Oregon, in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, it is time to adapt the dish to our new home, using salmon or steelhead trout.  Tonight I made it with steelhead and, oh my goodness, it was delicious!


I am also giving you a new approach to the rice (sabzi polo) – making it in the rice cooker.  It is funny, for several years I resisted my Persian sisters-in-law telling me that I needed to switch to cooking rice in a rice cooker, that it was so much easier.  Even though they said it produced the same outcome, complete with tahdig – the crispy bottom layer, I was skeptical.  I had tried rice cookers – American rice cookers – they didn’t do it.  Then, my wonderful husband brought me a Persian rice cooker (yes, they are available here in the States).  Our rice life was changed forever!  I now have this magic machine that makes perfect Persian rice in 1 one hour!  If you do not have a Persian Rive cooker, simply use the traditional recipe for the rice in Sabzi Polo ba Mahi (Herbed Rice and Fish)


Welcome to the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

Salmon getting ready to spawn in Multnomah Creek


Sabzi Polo ba Mahi

3 cups basmati rice

2 bunches parsley

2 bunches scallions

1/8 cup dried dill

Tbsp olive oil, plus more to brush the the fish

½ tsp salt

4 Steelhead trout or salmon fillets

1/2 Tbsp dried dill

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

½ Lemon



Put the rice in a large bowl and rinse 2 or 3 times.  Soak in salted water for at least an hour.  Drain.

Wash and dry the parsley and scallions.  Add the scallions and parsley to the food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Process until well chopped.  Add the dill.


Put the rice and greens in the rice cooker, add 3½ cups of water, 1½ Tbsp olive oil, and ½ tsp salt.  Cover the rice cooker and set it to cook for 1 hour.



Preheat oven to 400F.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet.  Place the fish fillets, skin down on the parchment paper.  Brush the fillets with olive oil and sprinkle with the dill, salt and pepper.


Cook until just cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.


Squeeze lemon on the fish and serve alongside the rice.



Serves 4





Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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