Gatun American Legion Recipe - Authentic Panamanian Fish Dish

Gatun American Legion

Gatun American Legion Recipe - Authentic Panamanian Fish Dish
Region / culture: Panama | Preparation time: 1 hour | Servings: This recipe serves 8 people.


Gatun American Legion
Gatun American Legion

The Gatun American Legion recipe is a traditional dish that originated in the American Legion in Gatun, Panama. This dish is a delicious and refreshing seafood appetizer that is perfect for any occasion.


The Gatun American Legion recipe has been passed down through generations in the American Legion community in Gatun, Panama. It is a popular dish that is often served at gatherings and events in the area.


How to prepare

  1. Dice the fish into 0.25 inch pieces and submerge in water.
  2. Use a stainless steel, plastic, or glass container.
  3. Add salt, mix well, and let it sit for at least an hour (this is a good time to squeeze your limes).
  4. Remove the fish from the water and squeeze out any excess moisture.
  5. Mix in the onions and peppers.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a large glass jar or a refrigerator container and pour enough lime juice to cover it.
  7. Cover the container (avoid using metal lids) and refrigerate for at least six hours.
  8. Serve chilled in a cocktail dish with saltines or in small pastry cups as a canape.


  • Add diced tomatoes or avocado for extra flavor and texture.
  • Use different types of fish, such as tuna or salmon, for a unique twist.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to use a firm and non-oily fish for this recipe to ensure the best texture and flavor.

- Be sure to dice the fish into small, uniform pieces for even marinating.

- Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.

- Refrigerate the mixture for at least six hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Gatun American Legion in a cocktail dish with saltines or in small pastry cups as a canape.

Cooking Techniques

Marinate the fish in lime juice for at least six hours to ensure the best flavor.

- Use a glass or plastic container to marinate the fish, as metal containers can react with the lime juice.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use lemon juice instead of lime juice for a slightly different flavor.

- Substitute red or yellow peppers for green peppers for a sweeter taste.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the Gatun American Legion recipe ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Gatun American Legion in a decorative glass jar or on a platter garnished with fresh herbs.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs well with a crisp white wine or a light beer.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Serve chilled.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of the Gatun American Legion recipe contains approximately 150 calories.


This recipe is low in carbohydrates, making it a great option for those following a low-carb diet.


The Gatun American Legion recipe is low in fats, making it a healthy option for those looking to reduce their fat intake.


This dish is a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair.

Vitamins and minerals

This recipe is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C from the lime juice and various minerals from the fish and vegetables.


This recipe contains fish and onions, which may be allergens for some individuals. Be sure to check for any allergies before serving.


Overall, the Gatun American Legion recipe is a healthy and nutritious dish that is low in carbohydrates and fats, but high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.


The Gatun American Legion recipe is a delicious and refreshing seafood appetizer that is perfect for any occasion. With its simple ingredients and easy preparation, this dish is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the excitement I felt when I first saw this recipe for Gatun American Legion. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my friend Mary at her house. Mary was a fantastic cook, and she had invited me over for lunch. As we sat down at the table, she placed a plate of the most delicious-looking chicken dish in front of me.

"What is this?" I asked, my mouth watering at the sight and smell of the dish.

"It's called Gatun American Legion," Mary replied with a smile. "It's a family recipe that has been passed down for generations. Would you like to learn how to make it?"

I eagerly nodded, and Mary proceeded to show me the steps to make this mouthwatering dish. The combination of flavors and spices was like nothing I had ever tasted before. I knew right then and there that I had to add this recipe to my own collection.

Over the years, I perfected the recipe for Gatun American Legion, making it my own by adding a few extra ingredients and tweaking the cooking method. Every time I made it for my family and friends, it was a hit. The flavors of the dish reminded me of that warm summer day at Mary's house, where I first fell in love with the recipe.

As I continued to experiment with different recipes and learn new cooking techniques, I always came back to Gatun American Legion. It became a staple in my kitchen, a dish that I could rely on to impress guests and satisfy my family's appetites.

One day, while I was at a local farmers market, I met a woman who was selling handmade pottery. We struck up a conversation, and she mentioned that she was a member of the Gatun American Legion. I was surprised to learn that the dish I had come to love so much had a connection to this organization.

The woman explained that Gatun American Legion was a dish that had been created by the members of the Legion as a way to raise funds for their community projects. It was a beloved recipe that had been passed down through the generations, and each member had their own twist on how to make it.

I was fascinated by the history behind the recipe and the sense of community that it represented. I asked the woman if she would be willing to share her version of the recipe with me, and she gladly agreed. We exchanged contact information, and she promised to send me the recipe that had been passed down in her family for decades.

When I received the recipe, I was thrilled to see how similar it was to the version I had learned from Mary. There were a few differences in the spices and cooking times, but the essence of the dish remained the same. I immediately set to work in my kitchen, combining the two recipes to create a new version of Gatun American Legion that was truly my own.

As I sat down to enjoy the dish with my family that evening, I couldn't help but feel grateful for the people who had shared their recipes with me over the years. From Mary to the woman at the farmers market, each person had played a role in helping me perfect the recipe for Gatun American Legion.

Now, as I pass the recipe down to my own grandchildren, I hope that they will feel the same excitement and sense of pride that I do when they cook this dish. It's more than just a recipe – it's a piece of history, a connection to the past and a reminder of the importance of community and sharing in the joy of good food. And for that, I am truly grateful.


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