Panamanian cuisine is a mix of African, Spanish, and Native American techniques, dishes, and ingredients, reflecting its diverse population. Since Panama is a land bridge between two continents, it has a large variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used in native cooking.
Typical Panamanian foods are mildly flavored, without the pungency of some of Panama’s Latin American and Caribbean neighbors. Common ingredients are maize, rice, wheat flour, plantains, yuca (cassava), beef, chicken, pork and seafood.[1
Corn-based dishes come from the kernel, cooked in water and then ground in order to obtain a dough (as opposed to using corn flour to obtain the dough). Fresh corn is also used in some dishes. Due to the multicultural background of the Panamanians, many of its dishes are heavily influenced by the cuisine of other Latin American countries and also the Caribbean as well as European. Some of the main meals, dishes and specialties include:
- Almojábanos – “S” shaped corn fritters.
- Arroz con camarones y coco – rice with shrimp and coconut milk.
- Arroz con chorizo y ajíes dulces
- Arroz con pollo
- Arroz con puerco y vegetales
- Arroz verde
- Bistec de hígado – liver steak
- Bistec picado – chopped beefsteak.
- Bollos – corn dough wrapped in nahuala palm leaves, corn husk or plantain leaves and boiled. There are two main varieties: fresh corn bollos (bollos de maíz nuevo) and dry corn bollos. The dry corn type is sometimes flavored with butter, corn, or stuffed with beef, which is called bollo “preñado” (lit. “pregnant bollo”). Bollos have been described as a type of tamale.
- Carne entomatada
- Carimañola – similar to an empanada, but made from yuca and stuffed with beef
- Ceviche – commonly made from corvina and tilapia
- Chorizo con vegetales
- Chuletas en salsa de piña
- Empanadas – made either from flour or corn, and stuffed with meats and/or vegetables, cheese, and sometimes sweet fillings, such as fruit marmalade or manjar blanco (dulce de leche).
- Ensalada de papas – potato salad, called ensalada de feria, when beetroot is added.
- Fried fish
- Guacho soup
- Hojaldres/Hojaldras – a type of fry-bread, similar to South American countries, known in other countries as “blach tostones”.
- Lengua guisada – stewed beef tongue
- Mondongo a la culona – stewed beef tripe
- Palm tree flower – prepared like spaghetti
- Pernil de pueco al horno – roasted pork leg
- Plátano en tentacion – ripe plantain cooked in a sweet syrup.
- Ropa vieja 
- Salpicón de carne
- Tamal de olla
- Tortillas – these can be around ten to twelve inches in diameter (these are always cooked on a griddle), or smaller, around four inches (most of the time these are fried).
- Torrejitas (Pastelitos) de maíz – A fresh corn fritter.
- Tortilla Changa – a thick tortilla made out of fresh corn.
- Tasajo – dried, sometimes smoked meat, usually from beef though the word refers mainly to the mode of curing rather than the type of meat.
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