Jerk is probably one of Jamaicas most iconic dishes and its not hard to see why!
In Jamaica, the word Jerk refers to two things that both go hand in hand with each other. One is a style of cooking in which chicken or pork is coated in a blend of spices before being placed on top of pimento wood to slowly grill over the flames of burning coal underneath.
The second, is the blend of spices used to coat such meat. Recipes differ slightly between the parishes but it should always have allspice and scotch bonnet!
The origins of this dish is said to be from the Tanio people who were an indigenous people of the Caribbean. They developed this cooking method and taught it to the African slaves who adapted it and later called it Jerk.
Traditionally, jerk is never done on seafood which is why I hate to call this one Jerk, but I season it just as I would season Jerk chicken or pork and it tastes SO good!
Nowadays Jerk rubs can be found on most supermarket shelves however I have an issue with most of them. For the most part, I just find them, spicy!
'Well obviously!' is the response that I usually get. Yes, jerk is spicy, but the thing is, I remember eating my way around the island of Jamaica, mainly on Jerk pork and jerk chicken. If we were en route somewhere and there was a pillar of smoke and a Jerk sign I was stopping my travels to have some! As I would stand and take a moment out to enjoy this popular street food, I clearly remember being able to taste a range of beautiful island spices. It wasn't just chilli!
I make my Jerk blend with all the traditional spices you'd expect and when it comes to its spice level, the feedback I've had is that it's suitable for most, and that was the idea! I always think it's better to adapt it if need be for those wanting a punch and a kick, rather than producing something that will be uncomfortable to eat for most. So with my jerk recipes, feel free to add some hot pepper sauce if you want yours to have a kick!
I almost always serve mine with rice & peas and avocado. Sometimes I leave my avocado plain but other times I roughly chop the avocado and add to it some fresh herbs, lime juice and some finely diced red onion just to spruce it up a bit!
As the salmon is packed with flavour, you could easily loose the rice and peas and have some fresh vegetables such as corn on the cob and broccoli.
TIP - This is also an exciting lunch if done with a simple salad of avocado, cucumber, sweetcorn, red pepper, lettuce and red chilli. A simple squeeze of lime juice, a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil brings it all together deliciously!
4 x salmon fillets (about 110g each)
3 tablespoons x Myristica's Caribbean Jerk Spice Mix
1 tablespoon x picked thyme leaves
3 tablespoons x dark soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon x salt
1/2 x lime
1. Drizzle the fish with a little olive oil and mix. This will help the seasoning stick onto the fish
2. Sprinkle the thyme leaves, the jerk spice mix, the dark soy sauce and the salt onto the salmon and then mix again
3. Preheat your oven to 170c
4. Leave to marinade for at least 15 minutes before putting your salmon fillets onto a flat tray which has been lined with non stick baking paper. Be sure to leave a gap between each fillet so that they can cook evenly (don't squash them close together on a tray).
5. When your oven is up to temperature cook the salmon for about 10 minutes.