Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A culinary tour around the world - first stop: Panama

A short intermezzo if you will excuse me. I wanted to take part in the 'culinary tour around the world' (http://foodalogue.com/2010/12/culinary-tour-2011-•-the-itinerary.html) although I guess I am already a little late. However, since it was one of my New Year's resolutions to take part in a food challenge and I already made the dish I'll post it anyway. The challenge is to create or adapt a dish from one country each week and blog about it (well, you should rather go to the webpage in case you would like to know more about it).
Panama, as nearly all Latinamerican countries are a real challenge for me, because their diet is heavily based on meat. I remember the placard in Argentina saying 'Meat for All'. The situation was further aggrevated by the fact that I have never been in Panama and therefore never tasted original Panamanesian Panamian food from Panama.
I wanted a vegan main dish which would easily fit into my daily meal plans, without offending my vegan taste nor my omni husband's. After heavy googling I decided to veganise 'Tamale de Olla', a kind of polenta in a pot.

I basically used this recipe http://www.world-recipes.info/panama-panamanian/tamal-de-olla.html but marinated tofu with vegan Worcestershire sauce and white wine instead of the chicken. you have to fry the tofu for some time to get it all crusty and yummie. Annato seeds are not available here, so I added a bit of safran. And maybe I used a bit more chili than in the recipe, but I like it hot...

And here is the result:

different from Italian polenta style dishes and very very tasty. A complete meal with a nice green salad:


  1. I applaud you for this transformation of the dish. Tamal de olla is one of my favorites, though I've never made it myself (shame, I'm from Panama after all). I think you kept the integrity of the dish, well done.

  2. So colorful and it really looks quite mouthwatering. Glad to be on this jorney with you and see you in Alaska.

  3. The colourful dish coupled with a green salad just really makes my mouth water. The flavours sound absolutely amazing.

  4. They say we eat with our eyes first and this is the case with this dish as well. Love the vegetarian twist!!