A couple of months ago, in the midst of the longest winter ever, I purchased a Jamaican cookbook to escape the cold. At least in my mind.
Virtually all the recipes in this amazing cookbook had me craving caribbean food and I decided to try my hand at jerk chicken (recipe to follow soon). But first, I needed jerk sauce, which I decided to make from scratch using bits and pieces from different recipes I found online.
Here's how I made mine.
- 4 large scallions
- 2 jalapeno peppers, or more if you prefer it hotter
Note: authentic recipes call for scotch bonnet peppers, but I cannot take that kind of heat, so I stick with one jalapeno. plenty hot for me.
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 6-7 sprigs of thyme
- 3 chubby garlic cloves
- 1 medium onion
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 1/2 tsp ground allspice, not pictured but VERY important! :)
- 1/4 cup chili-flavored dried mango
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 2 tbsp orange vinegar
Note: most recipes call for molasses, freshly squeezed orange and lime juice, but since I had neither on hand, I used a mixture of dried mango, dried tomatoes and orange vinegar to mimic the sweet and tang of molasses and citrus.
- a splash of white distilled vinegar to adjust acidity, to taste
- salt, to taste
- start with rehydrating the mango and tomatoes in the boiling water and reserve the liquid
- then mix the sesame oil, orange vinegar, soy sauce and ground allspice
- chop the scallions, ginger, onion and garlic coarsely and put everything in a blender
- blitz away!
Note: You can adjust the seasoning at this stage. I had to add one more jalapeno, a splash of white distilled vinegar and a healthy pinch of salt to make it to my taste
- this sauce will keep for at least two weeks in the fridge