One of my favorite things in the entire world, and man, I worked on this recipe for years! If you are new to Jamaican cuisine, this is the holy grail. Think of this as a hot sauce, marinade, and seasoning, all in one jar.
But BEWARE! It is hot as hell!
Because this is a vinegar based sauce, it lasts forever. I have kept mine in the fridge for up to a year. Which is great because breaking down all of those tiny peppers is a chore. Well worth it, I promise!
First, let’s talk about the peppers. You need SCOTCH BONNETS. These look like Habaneros, but the flavor is different, trust me. Scotch Bonnets come into season at the end of July/ beginning of August. I harassed the lovely people at the NC State Farmer’s Market for several weeks before they appeared. Your best bet for finding these guys is a Farmer’s Market, a farm that specializes in peppers, or a caribbean food specialty store.
Before you do anything with this sauce, you need to prepare your prep space. You will need gloves, a cutting board, pairing knife, and blender. And make sure to wash all surfaces that the peppers touch before you remove your gloves. Use cool water to wash surfaces; hot water will heat up the capsaicin and cause irritation to your eyes and throat.
Ok, we are terrified of the peppers now. So what other ingredients do we need?
Pretty standard stuff. Only tricky one is the soy sauce – I prefer Usukushi Soy Sauce which is lighter that the standard. Not necessary, but it is much less harsh tasting. Check your local H-Mart!
So besides the Scotch Bonnets and the soy sauce – pretty standard! Let’s do it!
Jamaican Jerk Sauce
- 1lb Scotch Bonnet Peppers seeded
- 1/2 Large Yellow Onion
- 6 Scallions
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger peeled
- 8 Cloves Garlic
- 1/2 cup White Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Light Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Whole Allspice Berries
- 2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
- 3 Tbsp Salt
First, break down the peppers. Remove the seeds and tops, making sure that no seeds stick to the flesh. Add them to your blender, along with the other ingredients. Blend until smooth and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. Easy!
My favorite uses include Jerk Chicken (thighs are the best), Fish, Shrimp, Jamaican Chicken Soup, and flavoring Rice & Peas. Try it out and let me know how it goes! Remember, start with a little, add more if you need. This sh*t is HOTT!