Travel to the Caribbean Islands and you'll find many variations of the famous jerk seasoning recipe. Traditionally used to tenderise tough goat meat, it works perfectly well with all cuts of meat as well as fish and other seafood. It can also be used as a general seasoning, and I often add it to my homemade soups and lentil dishes. (See the bottom of the page for other recipes)
Note: For the best flavours and aromas, this seasoning uses a few whole spices. If, however, you only have pre-ground powders available, just use those, but reduce the amounts by half. For example, 3 tablespoons coriander seeds equals 1½ tablespoons pre-ground coriander. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with any other powders when making.
What You'll Need: (makes about 5-6 tablespoons)
3 tbsp coriander seeds (cilantro)
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp ginger powder
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp allspice berries
1 tsp grated nutmeg
10 whole cloves
3 inch piece cinnamon
tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon
Store your jerk spice in an airtight jar out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months.
To get more flavours out of the whole ingredients I recommend dry toasting them for a few minutes prior to grinding and combining. Click here for info and photos on this technique. (Link opens in new window)
This is how I use it. If you have your own tried and trusted technique, carry on using that...
Sprinkle your fish or meat with the blend and, using your fingers, massage in so it's well covered.
Wrap the food in a piece of plastic wrap (cling film), or place in a sandwich bag and put in your refrigerator for a few hours or, better, overnight.
About an hour before you plan on cooking, take it out of the fridge and let it return to room temperature. Cook according to your recipe.
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