The diversity of food choices in Boquete, Panama!

Blog by Terry Richmeier & Manzar Lari


At Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast we love different flavors of food from around the world. People of Panama have their own delicious cuisine but it is good to try out different flavors as often as we can! With ex-pats from countries around the globe living in Panama and many of them in Boquete, it’s time for us to meet the needs of the tastes we so love!







At Casa de Montaña we recognize this need and offer a breakfast with an international flair! Flavors from Mexico, Italy, Pakistan, France, Belgium, North America and of course Panama! Manzar Lari, having grown up in Pakistan has a real knowledge of South Asian and East Indian cooking. He brings this to his Cooking Classes that he hosts to teach and share recipes passed down from his mother and the culture he grew up in. Those recipes can also be found on our website by clicking on the following link: Please feel free to print them off (since each of them are in a pdf format) and give them a try. Don’t forget to let us know how they turned out or if you have any questions. And while we are sharing the above recipes, we thought we would share a few of our other favorite flavors from other places in the world! Starting right here at home in Panama!

One of the greatest sweet breads you can ever sink your teeth into is the local Hojaldra! This is usually served with breakfast and has an incredible texture of crispy on the outside and a soft, succulent interior. Of course the locals will enjoy this bread just the way it is, however, we love to dunk it into a delicious imported maple syrup! Here is the recipe:



Intl. Food: Panamanian                            Yields: 4.5 Servings                      


1 2/3 Cups Flour + 1/3 Cup Flour for kneading

1 teaspoon Salt

2 ¼ teaspoon Baking Powder

½ teaspoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Butter, softened

2/3 cup of water



  1. Keep 1/3 Flour for kneading.
  2. Soften Butter.
  3. Mix the Flour, Salt, Baking Powder, and Sugar before incorporating the batter.
  4. You will want the mixture to look like wet sand.
  5. Gradually add Water until you end up with very wet dough.
  6. Begin to add the additional flour and knead it in.
  7. You want the dough to feel soft, but not sticky.
  8. Turn it out onto your counter-top and knead it for about 5 minutes.
  9. Separate it into balls, whirl a bit of oil on the bottom of the mixing bowl before dumping the balls of dough in.
  10. Let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, the more they rest the more time it’ll have to rise.


  1. You can roll them out with a rolling pin and stretch them out like a pizza dough just before dropping them in preheated oil on medium high heat. Should be about 5 inches in diameter.
  2. They fry very quickly, about 2 minutes per side, so don’t wander off! Enjoy!


Asian cultures have been known for hundreds (if not thousands) of years that wrapping things in lettuce makes an amazing snack or meal. This Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps are Vietnamese-inspired version of a blissful, healthy, flavor-packed return to the wrap’s humble roots.


Ingredients:                     Yields: 2 Servings

12 oz flank, skirt or sirloin steak

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 Tbsp hot sauce (we like Siracha)

2 Tbsp fish sauce

Juice of Lime, plus wedges as garnish

1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced

½ red onion, thinly sliced

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 carrot, grated

1 head Bibb lettuce leaves separated



  1. Heat the grill to hot or heat a grill pan over high heat for at least 5 minutes. Season the steak with salt and pepper and toss it onto the grill. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until its firm but yielding to the touch. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine the hot sauce, fish sauce, and juice of 1 lime in a small saucepan over low heat.
  3. Slice the steak thinly (if it’s flank or skirt steak, be sure to cut across the grain) and drizzle half of the warm sauce over it. Set out the jalapeno and onion slices, cilantro, carrot, and lettuce, along with the lime wedges and sauce. Use the leaves like tortillas to wrap up the steak slices with the other ingredients.


Note: Are you a vegetarian? You can grill mushrooms with goat cheese

2nd Note: You can use curry chicken or grilled fish and guacamole or ground turkey sautéed with ginger, garlic and soy sauce and last of all you can use pulled pork as an option for changing up this recipe. Enjoy!


When people look for Subgum chow mein they usually have an idea or memory of a wonderful time and place where they enjoyed this dish with friend and family; it is a difficult thing to replicate. Directly translated “sub gum” in Cantonese means “diverse and varied”, whereas in Mandarin “sub” or “sup” means “10” and “gum” means “Sticky.” So altogether we have a diverse and varied combination of 10 fresh ingredients to accompany your preferred protein in a thick sauce creating a delicious, classic dish for you and your loved ones. This recipe was given to us through the chef of our favorite restaurant in the Minneapolis MN area in the US. It’s by far one of our favorites!


Subgum Chow Mein


Ingredients:                     Yields: 4 Servings

2 Cups diced chicken (or protein of choice)

½ cup vegetable oil, (2 tablespoons if only using veggie, seafood or steamed tofu)

4 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth)

The “Sup” 10

2 cup celery

½ cup each of the following:

Onion, bell pepper, water chestnut, bamboo shoot, peapod, cabbage, carrot, white mushroom, & roasted cashews


Sauce (Mix together)

4 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons Michu rice wine or sherry

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ – ½ tsp white or black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 6 tablespoons cool water


Note: Chopped green onion and extra cashews for garnish are optional



  1. Cut all your veggie diagonally, about 1/2” long and ¼” thick
  2. Heat oil in wok until bubbly, toss in chicken, stir fry until ½ cooked (just white outside, this is called blanching) 1-2 minutes
  3. Turn off flame & pour off excess oil, discard, or save for later
  4. With the small amount of oil left sauté garlic and ginger, medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds, toss with meat, brown a little for roasty flavor
  5. Add broth, turn up heat to high
  6. When rapidly boiling add veggies (if too soon veggies overcook)
  7. As it comes to a boil again, add cornstarch/water mix, cook for a minute longer to fully incorporate the starch

Note: Total cook time is about 5-7 minutes over high flame, check your chicken to make sure it is cooked through. Serve over crispy noodles with side of steamed rice.

At Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast we would love to receive your favorite international dishes and recipes! Feel free to send us an email at: with your most delicious dishes and if you are planning a trip to Boquete, Panama, take a look at our specials and book now through our website and you too will enjoy the delicious tastes of an international breakfast here with us! We also schedule cooking classes from time to time. Make sure you ask us about the next cooking class. See you soon!!!


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