My family is Jamaican, so Jamaican food is the food I was raised on and is my soul food. Some of my favorite memories of going to Jamaica in my youth was eating jerk, fresh tropical fruits and fried ripe plantains with almost every meal. Since the islands are overflowing with rich delicious seafood, I wanted to jerk the sweet and briny crustacean. This dish represents the balanced spicy, delicious and sweet flavors of Jamaican cuisine.
Technique tip: To prevent the shrimp from falling between the grill grates, double-skewer the shrimp. Lightly oil grill grates with a high-smoke temperature oil like grapeseed oil so proteins don’t stick to grill grates.
Swap option: You can use the same jerk rub for fish, chicken, pork or vegetables.
- 3 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 ounces spiced rum
- 6 ounces bottled pineapple juice
- 1½ cups small-diced fresh pineapple
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 ripe yellow plantains, halved and cut in long slices
- 1½ pounds U10 colossal prawns
- Jerk Dry Rub (recipe above)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the jerk dry rub:
Mix together all dry ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, until well incorporated.
For the pineapple-habanero sauce:1.
To make the sauce on the stovetop: Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and habanero to a medium-sized saucepot and lightly sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender.2.
Add the rum to the pot and reduce the volume by one-third. Then add the pineapple juice and bring to a boil.3.
Add the pineapple and sugar and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the pineapple becomes glazed and syrupy. Remove from the stovetop and serve room temperature.
For the fried plantains:
In a small saucepan, on medium high heat, add oil and fry plantain slices for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown; drain on paper towel-lined plate. Fry in small batches.
For the jerk grilled prawns:1.
Prepare the grill to cook for direct medium-high heat.2.
Place prawns in a medium-sized bowl, season liberally with jerk dry rub and olive oil, and mix until well-coated.3.
Skewer prawns with 2 skewers each to keep prawns secure, about 5 prawns per skewer.4.
Grill about 4 minutes each side, until golden brown and cooked through; top jerk prawns with pineapple-habanero sauce and a side of fried plantains.