Top 6 Jamaican Foods you MUST try!

My favorite part of traveling is getting to experience new foods, trying a dish from another country gives you a new perspective on foods. If you are a foodie like me, then you will love this blog post. There are so many good foods in Jamaica to try, here are just a few that I found to be popular while in Jamaica! Below each MUST TRY food, I have listed the recipe so that you can create your own Jamaican experience in the comfort of your own home!

Jerk Chicken or Pork


  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

  • 1 Onion chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet (very hot), or jalapeno (milder), seeded, chopped fine

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 whole chicken, cut in sections, slashed 1/2" deep with a knife every few inches

Let's get cookin':

  1. Combine all ingredients (except the chicken) in a food processor and process until a smooth puree forms. Put the chicken in a large bowl, and pour over the marinade. Mix the chicken pieces around to coat them completely, cover, and marinate at least 6 hours.

  2. it's important to let the spices fully permeate the chicken before cooking, to give it a hearty and robust jerk flavor.

  3. Remove chicken from the jerk marinade and grill over charcoal until cooked through (internal temp of 165 F). You may also broil, or roast the chicken in a hot oven (425 F), but this will produce a slightly different flavor.


Curry Goat


  • 3- 3 1/2 pounds goat meat (cut in chunks)

  • ¼- ½ cup cooking oil

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 -2 teaspoons minced ginger

  • 1 medium onion sliced

  • 4-5 Tablespoons Curry powder

  • 1- teaspoon white pepper

  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme

  • 2 green onions sliced

  • 2-3 medium potatoes

  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper

  • 1 tablespoon Bouillon powder (optional)

  • Salt to taste

Let's get cookin':

1. Season goat with, salt and pepper. Set aside

2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, until hot, and then add the goat meat sauté stirring, frequently, any browned bits off the bottom of the pot, until goat is brown.

3. Then add curry, stir for about 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the garlic, ginger, white pepper, onions, thyme, tomato paste, scallions (green onions) and scotch bonnet pepper stir for about a minute.

5. Then pour in just enough water to cover the goat and bring to a boil and let it simmer until tender (depending on the goat size and preference) about 2 hours or more, stirring the saucepan occasionally and adding more water as needed.

6. About 15-20 minutes before you remove from the stove add potatoes and bouillon powder. Continue cooking until potatoes are tender, if you want really thick curry goat let the potatoes cook even more.

7. You may adjust thickness of soup with water or stock.


Ackee and Saltfish


  • 8 ounces salt cod

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable

  • 2 tablespoons diced yellow onion, from 1/4 onion

  • 2 heaping tablespoons diced bell pepper, from 1/2 bell pepper

  • 1/2 Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 small tomato, cored and diced

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves and tender stems, chopped

  • One 18–20-ounce can ackee

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Sliced avocado, for serving

Let's get cookin':

1. Rinse salt cod under cold running water until any salt on its surface is washed away. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover with fresh water. Soak at room temperature for 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain salt cod, discard soaking water, transfer fish to a small saucepan, and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until fish flakes easily when prodded with a fork, about 40 minutes. Taste, and if the cod is still too salty—it should have a similar salinity to bacon—drain and discard cooking water, return fish to saucepan, cover with a fresh change of water, and boil for an additional 20 minutes. Once the salt cod is cooked and seasoned to your liking, drain, and flake fish into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces, discarding any bones and silvery membranes. Set aside.

2. In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, bell pepper, Scotch bonnet, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the flaked salt cod and cook, stirring occasionally, until fish is heated through, about 5 minutes.

4.Add tomato, scallion, and thyme, stir to combine, and cook until vegetables are tender and mixture is aromatic, about 5 minutes.

5. Add ackee, stir gently to incorporate, taking care not to over-mix which can cause the ackee to become mushy, and cook until ackee is heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately with sliced avocado alongside.




  • 2.5lbs Ox tail

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp salt

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp all-spice

  • 1 tsp browning

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 yellow onion chopped

  • 4 green onions chopped

  • 1 Tbsp garlic chopped

  • 2 whole carrots chopped

  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper seeds and membrane removed and chopped

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 Tbsp ketchup

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 2 Tbsp water

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 16 oz can Butter Beans drained

Let's get cookin':

1. Rinse oxtails with water and vinegar and pat dry. Cover oxtails with brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, all-spice, and browning and rub into oxtails.

2. Set Pressure Cooker on High Sauté and once hot, add vegetable oil. Next, add your larger oxtail pieces to the pot, flat side down about ¼ inch apart, and brown on each side.

3. Remove oxtail after browning and place in bowl.

4. Deglaze your pressure cooker by adding about 2 Tbsp of beef broth to the insert. Take a wooden spoon and deglaze your pot by removing the brown bits at the bottom. Then add your yellow onions, green onions, carrots, garlic, and scotch bonnet pepper. Stir and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions have softened.

5. Add dried thyme, oxtails, remaining beef broth, and ketchup to the pressure cooker insert.

6. Press “Cancel” on your Instant Pot. Cover and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Once timer is done, allow pressure cooker to naturally release.

7. Once all pressure has released, open lid and remove oxtails and vegetables, leaving liquid behind. Turn Pressure Cooker on sauté. Once liquid begins to simmer, create a corn starch slurry by combining corn starch and water to a separate bowl. Stir into simmering liquid. Add drained butter beans into pressure cooker and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, until liquid is slightly thickened and butterbeans are warmed.

8. Add oxtails and vegetables back to the pressure cooker.


Fried Plantains


  • 2 ripe plantains

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable oil; for frying)

  • Optional: sea salt

Let's get cookin':

  1. Gather the ingredients

  2. Peel plantains by cutting off both ends, and cutting a slit down the side of each plantain.

  3. Remove the plantain peel by peeling it side to side rather than lengthwise. It will come off in sections. You may need to use the knife at the edge of each section to help loosen it from the flesh.

  4. Cut the peeled plantains into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Diagonally is preferred because it provides a larger surface for caramelization; it can be cut straight across into rounds.

  5. Drizzle just enough oil into a nonstick skillet to coat the bottom of the pan, and place it on medium heat.

  6. When the oil begins to shimmer, but not smoke, add plantains (work in batches). Fry for 1 1/2 minutes on one side, flip and cook for 1 minute on the other side.

  7. Remove plantains from the pan and drain on paper towels.

  8. Continue frying in batches until all the plantains are fried.


Rice and Peas


  • 1 cup dried kidney beans—rinsed, soaked overnight and drained

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 5 allspice berries

  • 5 thyme sprigs

  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • Kosher salt

  • Black pepper

  • One 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice

Let's get cookin':

1. In a large saucepan, cover the beans with the water and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Stir in the onion, scallions, garlic, allspice, thyme, Scotch bonnet, ginger, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat until beans are tender, about 1 hour; adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer

2. Stir in the rice, cover and simmer over low heat until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steam for 10 minutes, then discard the thyme stems, allspice berries and Scotch bonnet. Using a fork, fluff the rice and beans and season with salt. Serve hot.


Like I said, the best place about visiting somewhere new is trying all the great food dishes that originate there. I dare you to try any new dish that passes your way, at least once! You never know what you might like until you try it. Enjoy :)

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