My Jerk Marinade

Caribbean food.  What is the first thing you think of?  Jerk chicken, rice and peas?  Jerk has become quintessentially Caribbean (specifically from Jamaica, and before then, Africa!) and can be found in numerous restaurants across the Globe because it is just that good!  

Describing both the method of cooking (usually smoking in an oil barrel), as well as the actual marinade itself, Jerk is packed with intricate flavours, spices, heat, sweetness and sharpness. The starring roles go to the allspice berries and my love in life, the scotch bonnet pepper.  

Jerk works magically on meat (especially pork and chicken wings and legs!), fish, tofu and vegetables,  versatile enough for both a cold Winter's day and a Summer barbecue!  

This marinade has a nice kick, whilst retaining the complexity of the spices.  It looks like there is a lot in this recipe, but all you have to do is throw it into a blender!  It will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  Whatever you decide to throw in it, try to do so for at least 24 hours before you cook.  And when you cook, be it oven, or outdoor barbecue, be sure to have a beer to hand, otherwise it simply isn't authentic!

time:   15-20 minutes

serves 6 (stores in the fridge for a couple of weeks)

2 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves                                      

4 spring onions, coarsely chopped

1-2 (depending on how hot you want it!) scotch bonnet peppers, de-seeded and chopped                                                                                                               

4 garlic cloves, crushed                                                                                                          

4tsp allspice berries, crushed

4tsp black peppercorns, crushed

3tsp sea salt

4 bay leaves

1/2 cinnamon stick, toasted and roughly chopped

1tsp coriander seeds, toasted

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp Demerara sugar                                                                                                               

1 tsp honey

3 tbsp oil

juice of 1 lime

couple drops of soy sauce


1.  Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until you get a fine puree.

2.  Cover the meat/fish/vegetables in the marinade and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.

3.  Cook, as per instructions on the packaging for meat/fish/vegetables. Enjoy with a green salad, or my rice and peas and pineapple slaw recipes (coming soon).