Bring the taste of the Caribbean home with this authentic Jamaican jerk marinade. In five minutes, you can create a delicious jerk marinade to rival anything you can buy in a store. This easy recipe is perfect for jerk chicken and pork, as well as other meats, seafood, vegetables and tofu. All you need is a food processor to mix the Jamaican jerk marinade ingredients together.
Although jerk originates from Jamaica, the inspiration for this dish comes from Barbados. We visited the Animal Flower Cave in the North of the island and had lunch at the restaurant. The cave is in the cliffs where the island meets the Atlantic. It is so-called because of the sea anemones that call the rock pools home.
Above ground, the restaurant sits along the rocky cliff face. If you’re lucky you may see a pod of humpback whales migrating by. They visit every Spring in March and April for their annual winter vacation. Fortunately, you can still enjoy freshly-made jerk chicken at the restaurant even if the whales are nowhere to be seen.
From Jamaica with love: prepare an authentic jerk marinade at home in minutes with this easy recipe
Start by preparing the jerk marinade ingredients. Roughly dice half a small onion into chunky pieces. Chop two large spring onions into 1 cm long pieces. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves and chop into 2-3 pieces. And finally, slice a scotch bonnet pepper in two and remove the seeds. Be very careful not to touch your eyes or anything else while handling the pepper.
Put all the ingredients into a food processor. Blitz for about 30 seconds. You’re looking to achieve quite a coarse mixture. You may need to reach for a spoon if the blades don’t pick everything up. A stir and a few more seconds in the food processor should do it.
Slather the jerk marinade over the meat or vegetable of your choice. You can cook with the marinade right away, but I’d suggest marinading for as long as you can. Overnight is best, but an hour in the marinade is good too. Whack it in the oven and enjoy with a side of spicy rice or roast sweet potato, with coleslaw and seasonal greens.
Not just jerk chicken: create an easy jerk marinade for other meats, seafood, vegetables and tofu
- ½ small onion diced
- 2 spring onions chopped
- 3 strands of fresh thyme
- 2 tsp fresh ginger chopped
- 4 garlic cloves halved
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp coarsely white pepper
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tsp bouillon powder
- 4 tsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper sliced and deseeded
Start by preparing the ingredients. Roughly dice the onion and chop two large spring onions into 1 cm long pieces. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves and chop into 2-3 pieces.
Slice a scotch bonnet pepper in two and remove the seeds. Be very careful not to touch your eyes or anything else while handling the pepper.
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor. Blitz for about 30 seconds or until you have a coarse mixture. Stir thoroughly and mix again in the food processor for a few seconds.
Slather the jerk marinade over the meat or vegetable of your choice. You can cook with the marinade right away, but it's best to leave it overnight.