Jamaican Jerk Sauce for President
To kick the new year off I made a Jamaican feast for me and a friend and no Jamaican feast would be complete without lots of extra jerk sauce to pour all over my food. The first time I had Jamaican food was when I was living in New Orleans working as a community organizer. One of my colleagues suggested we go to Boswell’s for lunch because they had the best jerk sauce. I had no idea what he was talking about but we had shared a few meals before so I knew he had great taste. The meal did not dissapoint and, as promised, the jerk sauce haunted my dreams so often that I made lunch at Boswell’s part of my regular weekly lunch routine.
My favorite thing about Boswell’s was that they always put a large bottle of extra jerk sauce on the table when I ordered the jerk chicken. The sauce was aromatic, spicy, tangy and delicious. Even though I think it was just meant for the chicken, it always ended up all over everything on my plate. It was that good.
My Own Jerk
I’ve been craving these flavors a lot lately. LA has a few Jamaican jerk spots but none of them are close to where I live. Also, since I’m not really eating much meat these days, the menus, which are very meat focused, are less appealing to me. So into the kitchen I went to see if I could recreate the flavors I had been jonesing for and give it my own plant based touch.
I was really pleased to discover that all of the jerk sauce recipes and most of the jerk marinades consisted of veggies and spices. I didn’t have to make any real modifications and the sauce came out great! Tangy, aromatic, spicy, creamy and packed with flavor that really enhanced everything that I poured it on. I can see this becoming one of my pantry staples that I can reach for when I get a hankering for Jamaican jerk. Put it on rice, put it on toast, put it on eggs, put it on veggies, eat it straight out of the jar. Then go make some more!
Adapted from All Recipes
- 1/4 cup all spice berries
- 6 green onions
- 7 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup of tamari soy sauce
- 1/2 cup of veggie oil
- 1/2 of a medium sized onion, chopped
- 3 whole nutmeg
- 2 habanero peppes, stems, seeds and membrane removed
- 2 Tablespoons of katsup
- 3 Tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Put all ingredients in a strong blender and blend until it forms a smooth sauce. Add more lime juice if you need to thin it out. Taste and add more salt as needed. Put it on everything.