Inspired by Panama: a Cheap & Simple Fish Dish

In Bocas del Toro, on the island of Bastimentos, at the Roots Restaurant, my friend G and I had a mind blowing dining experience for about $12 total. It involved a white fish in wine sauce, along with coconut rice & beans (made with coconut water, not coconut milk), patacones (mashed fried plantains), and cabbage salad. This is my ideal meal, and I would eat it every day if I could.

In an effort to at least recreate the fish part, I googled ’tilapia white wine’ and came up with this recipe.  If you need more motivation before clicking over, the sauce is made from white wine, shallots, parsley, olive oil, flour, and meyer lemons.  You really can’t go wrong with those ingredients.  In fact, any way you cook those up with white fish, it will undoubtedly taste damned good.

I spent about $7 on four tilapia fillets from Trader Joe’s.  Two Buck Chuck works fine for the sauce, and meyer lemons were about $3 for four, though I only used one.  All told, this meal cost about $15 for two, including the couscous I served with it.  We got a full meal for two plus leftovers for one.

Now I just need to find a good recipe for coconut rice, or more importantly, a good (and cheap) source for coconut water.


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