5 recipes to try on Jamaican National Jerk Day


Jamaican jerk, the unique island method of seasoning and grilling food, is one of the most popular cuisines in the world, and in recognition of the tasty culinary practice, the fourth Sunday of October each year has been designated National Day. Jamaican jerk in the United States. States. This special day offers the opportunity to celebrate not only tasty Jamaican jerk recipes, but also the whole of Jamaican culture: its music, its dance and its community. The annual celebration reflects Jamaicans’ pride in their cultural identity and their desire to share their culture with the world.

Jerk represents a history of cultural fusion, combining the foods of the island’s Taino natives who were the first to cook jerky, and the dishes brought to the island by enslaved African peoples during the Spanish colonial period. from the 17th century. In the 1800s, enslaved Africans escaped colonial plantations and lived with the Taino, establishing free and independent communities. These were the first communities of people who would become known as Jamaican Maroons, and they learned jerk foods from the Taino.

The word “jerk” is believed to derive from the Spanish word “charqui”, itself derived from the language of the Quechua people of the Andes in South America. “Charqui” means “jerky” or “dried meat,” and the Maroons used this word to refer to the Taino method of cooking meat.

The three main ingredients needed for Jamaican jerk are Scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, and allspice. The jerk spice dry rub typically combines these ingredients with sugar, salt, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and garlic, although the ingredients may differ across the Jamaican diaspora and according to individual preferences. to cook. The jerk method has also evolved over time as entrepreneurs developed easier and more portable ways to make jerky.

The best way to celebrate Jamaica’s National Jerk Day is to cook your own jerk meal and share it with friends and family. Below are five tried-and-true Jamaican recipes that will make Jamaica’s National Jerk Day 2022 especially memorable.

Miss G’s Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

This easy recipe relies on commercially available jerk sauce for seasoning.


  • 8 chicken breasts (cut into 2-inch cubes)
  • jerk seasoning
  • Ziploc freezer bag or large bowl
  • Skewers of wooden skewers


  1. Place the chicken cubes in a mixing bowl and add the sauce.
  2. Mix well to evenly coat the chicken with the sauce.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine your favorite BBQ sauce with the jerk sauce, adjusting amounts to taste, and let sit in the fridge until ready to grill.

wire mesh

  1. Soak the wooden skewers in water for about an hour.
  2. Heat the grill to 350 degrees and grease it with cooking oil or butter. Pierce 5 or 6 pieces of chicken with each skewer and place the skewers on the grill. Cook, covered, about 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Baste the chicken frequently with the sauce to make sure it absorbs the flavors and doesn’t dry out. Once cooked, arrange on a platter and serve hot.

Jamaican jerk lobster

Jamaican jerk lobster recipe

So delicious, and with commercially available jerk seasoning, so easy! A sure way to please everyone with the flavors of Jamaica straight from your grill.


  • 4 lobster tails
  • 6 tablespoons jerk seasoning
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 4 teaspoons. lemon and lime juice
  • 1 small onion (optional)
  • ½ tbsp Jamaica Pickapeppa sauce or 3 drops Jamaican hot pepper sauce (optional)


  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet. Lightly sauté the diced onion in the butter until golden (optional).
  2. Add 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of jerk seasoning.
  3. Add ½ tsp Jamaica Pickapeppa Sauce or 3 drops Jamaican Hot Pepper Sauce (optional to taste). Simmer for about 1 minute and set aside.
  4. Remove the membrane from the lobster tails and use a sharp knife to split the lobster tail in half lengthwise.
  5. Brush each tail with the butter sauce, then use the same brush to spread the jerk sauce over the tails, especially the exposed meat.
  6. We will pre-cook the lobster before putting it on the grill. Preheat your oven to 250°F and start your grill. Put the lobster tails in the oven, flesh side down, for 8 minutes
  7. Flip and cook shell side down for 2 minutes. Combine reserve of 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. This sauce will be used to keep the lobster tails moist while they are on the grill. Put the lobster tails on a grill for 3 minutes, mostly shell side down.
  8. Use a brush to put more sauce on the tails to keep them moist. Serve with Jamaican Festival, Bammy or Jamaican Hardo Bread.
  9. For 4 people

Grilled Jerk Shrimp Recipe

grilled jerk shrimp

A special recipe that brings out the best in shrimp.


  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for brushing
  • 1 ripe plantain


  1. Marinate shrimp in jerk seasoning mix in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Peel the ripe bananas and cut them into thick slices, lengthwise.
  3. Thread shrimp and plantains onto skewers. Brush with olive oil and grill for 3 minutes on each side.
  4. For 4 people

jerk snapper

jerk fish

Snapper marinated in a spicy jerk sauce, then wrapped in foil and grilled over allspice sticks or other aromatic woods tossed over charcoal. It’s the way to get that smoky Jamaican flavor in an easy to make and easy to eat fish dish!

Note: Chilli sprigs (allspice) mixed with charcoal are the traditional heat source used to cook jerk in Jamaica. If you can’t find a chili pepper, use another aromatic wood in the grill to enhance the flavor.


  • Jerk Sauce – Buy Now or Make Your Own
  • 3 medium snappers
  • Chilli branches (allspice) or aromatic wood


  1. Rub fish with jerk sauce.
  2. Leave to marinate for about 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Wrap fish in foil and grill on lowest possible setting over low heat until cooked through.
  4. Cut the meat into pieces and serve in the traditional way with hard bread

Jamaican jerk pork recipe

These 30 Jamaican Dishes Make This Popular Foodie Site Top 100 Caribbean Dishes - Jerk Pork

Pork shoulder marinated in jerk sauce and cooked to perfection. Jerk pork is best when grilled over chili wood sticks (allspice), but tasty even when cooked over charcoal.


  • Jerk Sauce – Buy Now or Make Your Own
  • 5 lbs. Pork shoulder, cut into chunks
  • Chilli sprigs (allspice) or other aromatic wood


  1. Rub the meat with the sauce. If using pork shoulder, make shallow cuts and scrub them.
  2. Leave to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Grill on lowest possible setting over low heat until cooked through. Chilli sprigs (allspice) mixed with charcoal as used in Jamaica are best, but any aromatic wood can be substituted to enhance the flavor. Cut the meat into pieces and serve with hard bread.

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