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Nowadays it is possible to find Cobia in some of the best restaurants in the world. This premium white-meat fish is characterized by its appreciated taste and its culinary versatility; it is the best alternative for a variety of preparations, from sushis and sashimis to a good grilled fish, always maintaining its firm texture. It is also a great source of protein and Omega 3 (almost twice as high as a farmed Atlantic salmon). In Panama, restaurant gems such as Riesen, American Trade Hotel, Maito, Aki Sake Bar, Sal Si Puedes, Canal Bistro, Chin Chin, Café Balear, Restaurante Central, Makoto and Mansa have led the way in introducing this latest alternative to the ever-popular Atlantic salmon or Chilean sea bass.

Cobia is considered to be one of the most suitable candidates for warm, open-water aquaculture in the world. Its rapid growth rate and the high quality of the flesh could make it one of the most important marine fish for future aquaculture production. Currently, the fish is being farmed in offshore grow-out cages in parts of Asia, the United States, Mexico, and here in Panama.

In fact, the largest marine farm in the Western Hemisphere is in Panama, where cobias are raised in an open water environment, far offshore and away from sensitive ecosystems. Located 12 kilometers off the coast in the province of Colon, the water is deep, clean, and pure. The company in charge of this project is Open Blue Panama, a pioneer corporation creating innovative and responsible aquaculture solutions, while respecting the ocean and enriching the quality of life.

The company is also focused on making a difference in the communities where they work and live. For this reason, they are especially proud to support the communities along the Caribbean coast of Panama, home to many of their employees. Sourcing local products, supporting education, establishing scholarships, and building community wells are just some of the ways that Open Blue Panama contributes in these communities.

For the Tiger’s Milk:

• 100 gr. Chopped celery

• 100 gr. White onion

• 2 Cloves of garlic, peeled

• 3 gr. Fresh ginger

• 100 gr. Coriander stem

• 4 gr. Sweet peppers

• 2 Units of burned and peeled Chili cut in slices.

• Juice of 1 kg of Lemons

• Fresh Passion Fruit juice

• 200 gr. Ice

• 30 gr. Portions of Cobia

• Blend celery, onion, garlic, and ginger with 200 ml of water, add cilantro and chili pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour and strain.

• Mix the chili with olive oil and salt, burn on the grill, peel, remove the seeds and clean.

• Blend the mixture with lemon juice, ice, salt, portions of cobia. Strain the liquid through a colander and refrigerate.

For the Fish:

• 3 Oz Cobia in cubes

• Red Onion in julienne

• Roasted garlic

• Olive oil

• Fresh coriander leaves

• Green banana chips

• Sweet potato puree

• In a bowl, mix the olive oil with the fish. Put roasted garlic and salt. Add 2 oz of Tiger’s milk and let it rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to cook.

• Prepare the mashed potatoes and banana chips.

• Remove the fish from the refrigerator, add white onion, mix and add salt to taste.

• In the bottom of the dish placed the mashed potatoes, the ceviche on top and pour tiger milk around. Decorate with coriander leaves and place the banana chips around.

By being identified with local products, I am excited to know that our country produces the best fish on the market. Its texture and versatility for various cooking techniques make the Cobia a product without comparison. Since I use it in my Restaurant, I’ve been receiving compliments from my diners such as: “the best fish I’ve ever tasted.”

– Chef Hernan Correa

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