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How To Cook Like A Jamaican

7 Iconic Island Recipes To Show You How To Cook Like A Jamaican

Today you are going to learn how to cook like a Jamaican in your very own kitchen. This appetizing collection of recipes offers a wide selection of tasty Jamaican meals that are filled with distinct Caribbean spices and tasty ingredients. Cooking tasty Jamaican classics does not have to be difficult. All you need are the right ingredients, that are luckily easy to find, and precise instructions to follow. As usual, that’s where I’ve got you covered. This pot will walk you through some iconic Jamaican recipes that will you how to cook like a ‘yaadie’.

How To Cook Like A Jamaican: The Recipes

Jerk Pork

Serves: 4

Time: 1 hr. 33 mins.

Ingredients:

  • Pork (1 lb., 1 in cubes)
  • jerk marinade or mild jerk sauce (1/3 cup)
  • lemon juice (1 tablespoon)
  • sugar (1 tbsp)
  • salt (1 pinch)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Press pork by taking a plate and lining with paper towels. Follow by placing pork blocks on the paper towel and then place some paper towels on top of the blocks as well.
  3. Place another plate on top of paper towel and pork blocks and add 2 cans or other heavy item on top of the plate for about 25 minutes.
  4. Mix marinade, sugar, salt, and lemon juice together in a bowl.
  5. Brush the pork with jerk marinade or sauce, sugar, salt and lemon juice
  6. Grease or line a baking sheet. Bake for about 45-60 mins. Serve with rice.

Fried Dumplings (Johnny Cakes)

Serves: 3

Time: 20 mins.

Ingredients:

  • flour (2 cups)
  • baking powder (2 tsp)
  • margarine (3 tbsp)
  • salt (1/ 2 tsp)
  • Oil (for frying)
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add salt and mix.
  2. Rub in the margarine and add enough water to make a smooth dough.
  3. Scoop a spoonful of dough and shape into balls.
  4. Fry in hot oil until all sides are golden brown in color. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.

Gungo Peas Soup

Serves: 4

Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.

 Ingredients:

  • gungo peas (2 cups dry red)
  • garlic (2 cloves, grated)
  • salt (½ teaspoon)
  • black pepper (¼ teaspoon)
  • nutmeg (¼ teaspoon, grated)
  • water (8 cups)
  • pimento berries (6, crushed)
  • coconut milk (1 can)
  • carrot, peeled and diced
  • Irish potatoes (2 large, diced)
  • zucchini or cho-cho (chayote) (1 medium, diced)
  • sprig thyme (1)
  • scallion (2 stalks, crushed)

Dumplings/Spinners: (optional)

  • all-purpose flour (1/2 cup)
  • salt (1/8 tsp)
  • water (as needed)

Directions:

  1. Pour water into a pot. Add in your red gungo peas, pimento berries and crushed garlic then boil until the beans are tender.
  2. Pour in the zucchini, potatoes, carrots and coconut milk.

To make the dumplings/spinners:

  1. Mix together the flour with a dusting of salt. Add a little water at a time until a soft dough is formed.
  2. Roll the dough bits between your palms, making the ends softly tapered. Add to the soup pot.
  3. Cook for 1 hour. Add the thyme, nutmeg, crushed scallion, salt and black pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Chicken Foot Soup

Serves: 4

Time: 50 mins.

Ingredients:

  • water (4 cups)
  • chicken foot (1 lb., cleaned, nails removed, chopped)
  • Salt (1 ½ tsp, to taste)
  • garlic (1 clove)
  • Pumpkin (2 lbs.)
  • Irish potatoes (2, medium sized, diced)
  • green pepper (½, diced)
  • tomato (1 medium sized)
  • scallion (2 stalks, chopped)
  • thyme (2 sprigs)

Directions:

  1. Add water to your soup and bring to a boil.
  2. Add in chicken foot, cook until tender (about 20 mins).
  3. Add garlic, pumpkin and potatoes.
  4. Stir and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Add green peppers, tomatoes, onions, thyme, and scallions.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.

Ackee & Saltfish

Ackee is Jamaica’s national dish and is often served combined with cod fish to make a delicious mix.

Serves: 4-6

Time: 20 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans ackee
  • ½ pound saltfish
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 slices scotch bonnet pepper to your taste
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 4 tablespoons oil (any oil of your choice)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

Directions:

  1. Drain can of ackee and rinse under hot water. Set aside in a bowl. Put a saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Add oil to saucepan and allow it to heat up. Then add chopped onion, tomato chopped, red or green bell pepper and thyme, and allow to cook.
  3. Cook the saltfish in seasoning. When that cooks down, add ackee and stir.

Callaloo

Serves: 4-6

Time: 20 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans callaloo
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ pinch salt to taste
  • ½ cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil

Directions:

  1. Drain callaloo and rinse in cold water. Put in a basin/bowl. Put cooking oil in a saucepan. Place on medium heat.
  2. Add bell pepper. Add onion and thyme. Allow it to cook through. When tender, add callaloos, salt and pepper to taste.

Saltfish Fritters

Serves: 4

Time: 20 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 8 ounces saltfish, soaked and flaked
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk scallion, chopped
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 cup water or milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt (if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅓ teaspoon Scotch bonnet pepper, diced and finely chopped
  • ½ cup cooking oil

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, put flour, saltfish, onion, scallion, diced tomatoes, and mix well.
  2. Gradually add water or whole milk until batter becomes a smooth. It should be of a thick consistency such that when you pick it up with a spoon, you can drop it into oil.
  3. Place a skillet on high heat on stove top, place oil in skillet, and allow oil to heat up, then spoon batter in one tablespoon at a time.
  4. Turn from side to side until brown, remove from oil, place on absorbent paper towel, and it can be served hot.

Final Thoughts

As you can see Jamaican cooking highlights the beauty of simple, and in most cases, inexpensive ingredients. Cooking like a Jamaican means cooking with love and putting your soul in everything that comes out of your kitchen, then of course adding in your spices. Remember flavor is key!

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