Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Whenever I tell people that I cook Jamaican food, their first question is always about Jerk. It seems that ‘Jamaica’ and ‘Jerk’ go together like ‘Bob Marley’ and ‘Reggae’.

Reportedly this fiery seasoning is credited to the Jamaican Maroons who originally used the seasoning for the wild boar they caught. Now it’s popular on chicken, fish, beef, and even Turkey.

I’ve tried many, many shop bought Jerk seasonings, the dried ones, and to be honest, for me none of them come close to the taste of a home- made jerk marinade. There are a few ‘wet’ varieties out there, in jars, that aren’t too bad, but I had to try a few before I found one I liked. The added benefit of making your own jerk sauce is that you can adjust the flavour to your own taste, particularly the heat from the Scotch Bonnets.

I usually make a large batch and then freeze some for future use, and I also include honey, as this gives a lovely, caramelised finish to the cooked dish.



  • 6 Spring onions, chopped
  • 2 Scotch Bonnet peppers, seeded
  • 200 ml Soy sauce
  • 125 ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tblsp honey
  • 2 tblsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.