Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is a spice blend that can range from mild to scorching hot. This version is mild but could be made hotter by adding additional peppery spices, such as cayenne.
Jerk Seasoning can be used as a dry rub or a wet marinade. When using it for poultry or shrimp, I use it as a wet marinade most of the time, but have used it as a dry rub. When using it for fish, such as flounder, I usually use it as a dry rub.
For a wet rub, I usually mix the Jerk Seasoning with olive oil and a little lemon juice or other acid in a zipper close plastic bag. Then, place the poultry or shrimp in the bag and coat it with the mixture. Let it marinade for 20-30 minutes before cooking.
When using as a dry rub, I sprinkle some of the Jerk Seasoning on the protein then rub it over the protein before cooking.
Jerk Seasoning usually consists of allspice and scotch bonnet peppers. Because I am using all dried spices, I use cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes for a little heat instead of scotch bonnet peppers. Jerk may also include other flavors such as brown sugar, garlic, thyme, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. I love all of those flavors, so it is no surprise that I like jerk seasoning.
Several years ago I was introduced to jerk seasoning by a former colleague. He went to Jamaica and brought me back a jar of a wet jerk marinade. It was quite spicy! He knew I liked to cook and thought I might like to experiment with jerk flavors. He was right!
I was so disappointed when the jar was empty because there wasn't anything like it here at that time. Over the last several years, grocery stores have been expanding there stock of food items from other cultures. Trying different foods makes cooking even more fun!
I use this spice blend on chicken, shrimp, flounder and other firm white fish varieties. I previously posted a Jerk Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa recipe. The pineapple salsa compliments the spiciness of the jerk seasoning. In the future, I'll post additional recipes that use this Jerk Seasoning.
I hope you enjoy the Jamaican Jerk Seasoning!
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar Dark brown sugar is ok.
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon granulated onion
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons paprika Smoked is best, but regular is ok, too.
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a jar with a lid. I use a canning jar, but you can use any dry jar or a plastic resealable bag.
- Store in a sealed container away from heat and moisture.
- Use this spice blend on chicken or fish.