Jerk seasoning is a very common type of seasoning used in the Caribbean, especially in Jamaica. This Caribbean seasoning has scotch bonnet and allspice as the main ingredients. Jerk is a style of cooking in Jamaica where meat such as chicken is poked to create some holes and then the seasoning is rubbed on it or marinated with the seasoning.
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What is Jerk Seasoning?
Jerk seasoning is a Jamaican seasoning that is used commonly in the Caribbean regions for making various recipes such as Jerk Chicken or Jerk Pork. Various spices such as cinnamon, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, etc. are used but allspice and scotch bonnet are the main ingredients. This Jamaican seasoning can be made with dried ingredients or wet ingredients. The wet jerk seasoning is used mainly for marinating chicken or pork but other types of meat or fish can also be marinated with it. Whereas the dried seasoning is used for cooking such as in making Jamaican rice and peas; both types of spice blend can be used as marinades as well as for cooking (in making Jerk Pasta).
- 1 stick of broadleaf thyme
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp of red chili flakes
- 1 tbsp of browning
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers and 1 tsp of black pepper
- 1 stick of spring onion – for aroma and a handful of fresh thyme
- 1 small white onion
- A chunk of ginger root
- 1 tsp of brown sugar. Brown sugar adds flavor to the seasoning.
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon and 1 tsp of grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of ground allspice (Jamaican pepper, Pimento)
How to Make Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
Though you can buy some Jerk seasoning from the grocery store, I personally prefer making it at home as I get to alter any spice I want and the quantity I need. You can increase the heat or the flavor of a specific spice you love. Homemade is always cheaper and better for me if you have all the ingredients available.
- Cut the vegetables into small chunks to make it easier for blending
- Into a blender, add all the ingredients
- Blend into a smooth paste and your homemade Jamaican seasoning is ready.
- You can pour it into a container with a fitted lid and preserve it in the fridge or freezer.
- If you need more heat in the Caribbean seasoning, simply add more of the scotch bonnets and red chili flakes.
What can I use Jerk seasoning on?
You can use Jerk seasoning on chicken, prawns, salmon, or any other fish, baked pork chops, or French fries. You can also use this Jamaican seasoning in salad dressings as well as in dips such as Guacamole. Other ways to use Caribbean seasoning include grilled corn or on tofu. Being a seasoning, it can be used on any recipe that calls for the addition of spices or seasoning.
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