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Chef Basics

Jerk paste Add to ...

Jerk paste is a hot and spicy mixture native to Jamaica. Most often applied to pork and chicken, you can also use it on fish or beef. Scotch bonnets are extremely hot peppers and you should use gloves when working with them or the oil could burn your skin or eyes.


1/3 cup ground allspice berries

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

6 garlic cloves

4 Scotch bonnet peppers (deseeded, membrane removed)

2 tablespoons thyme leaves

1 bunch green onion, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


Combine all ingredients in a food processor and buzz until smooth. You can also use a blender.

Add extra lime juice and/or olive oil to thin this to a marinade consistency instead of a paste.

If using as a rub on pork or beef, score the meat to get it to penetrate better. For chicken, massage the paste thoroughly over and under the skin and allow to sit for at least two hours.

Grill your food over a low heat until it is nicely browned and cooked through.

Makes 1/2-3/4 cup paste.

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