A morning stroll by the Mercado de Mariscos

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Red snapper, including the big ones!

Panama City’s main seafood market

photos and note by Eric Jackson

This is the outside, with the inside just back open, mostly after repairs and refurbishing. It’s at the intersection of the northernmost entrance to the Casco Viejo and the beginning of the Cinta Costera. The Mercado de Mariscos was a gift from the Japanese government and for those at all assimilated to a Panamanian diet and lifestyle it’s one of the treats of living in the noisy, dirty, chaotic capital city.

So what do you do with one of the big snappers like that? Have it scaled and cleaned at the market, with dorsal and pectoral fins cut off but the tail fin and the head left on. Squeeze enough fresh limes to wet the outside and inside of the fish with the juice. Then sprinkle the outside with salt and pepper. Then slather it with olive oil on both side and broil it, turning when it’s done enough on the first side. On the side, stir fry some sliced up cabbage, onions, sweet red peppers and pitted green olives. When the second side of the fish is about done, top it with the things you have just stir fried, broil just a bit more, and then serve.

 

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