There are no perfect and direct jerk seasoning substitutes. The jerk seasoning is a spice blend native to Jamaica. Jerk seasoning brings dimension, heat, and complexity to your cuisine.
It is made with blended onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, ginger, garlic, etc. Jerk seasoning has a distinctive and peculiar taste. It is complex as well as pungent.
Some seasonings that come close to jerk seasonings are Rogan Josh seasoning and Ras el hanout.
What Can I Use Instead Of Jerk Seasoning? (Jerk Seasoning Substitutes)
There are little to no direct jerk seasoning substitutes. As mentioned above, jerk seasonings are peculiar, and as such, you can make them by yourself.
However, there are things you can use instead of jerk seasoning, and they include:
1. Rogan Josh Seasoning
Rogan josh seasoning is a local Indian seasoning explicitly used to make the Rogan josh dish. When using the Rogan josh seasoning as a substitute for jerk seasoning, lamb is the meat’s best choice. You could also use Chicken or Beef.
The Rogan josh seasoning consists of ingredients such as blended onions, pepper, ginger, and cloves.
The cloves can also be used as a good substitute for the allspice in jerk seasoning. As such, it makes the Rojan josh have a close taste to jerk seasoning.
2. Ras El Hanout
Ras el hanout is a close second to jerk seasoning. It is a Moroccan spice, and it is translated to mean “head of shop.” In Arabic, the original phrase ras el hanout actually means “top shelf.”
It is believed that Ras el hanout was created by a North African spice dealer who was excellent at mixing spices, sometimes 50 individual spices deep.
However, the Ras el hanout has just 8 spice mixtures. And they include allspice (also primarily used in jerk seasoning), cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, coriander, and ginger.
The word “Baharat” literally means spices in Arabic. It is a typical middle eastern spice, best used for Lamb, Fish, Chicken, and Beef. The taste of this spice is dependent on where it was made.
Baharat has a mixture of cloves (which are also used for making the allspice used in jerk seasoning), nutmeg, cardamom, cumin, and cinnamon.
Unlike Ras el hanout used in just a handful of Moroccan dishes, Baharat is a tabletop spice just like salt and pepper.
How To Make Homemade Jerk Seasoning From Scratch
The best substitute for jerk seasoning is the one you made yourself. Traditional jerk seasoning is made outside the United States as it is native to Jamaica.
Jerk seasoning is usually prepared by the manufacturers or a cook, and the taste depends on their preference. And as such, it is necessary to make your own jerk seasoning. This spice is customizable, and its taste differs by the person making it.
Ingredients For Making Jerk Seasoning
The list of ingredients used for making jerk seasoning includes:
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger spice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 -3 Tablespoons coconut sugar replace with brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. You can also blend the ingredients if you need your jerk seasoning in a powdery form.
You package them in airtight containers and store them properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Jerk Seasoning Used For?
Before now, jerk seasoning was only used on Chicken and pork. However, in recent times it is used for Lamb, Shrimp, Shellfish, tofu, Goat, and even vegetables.
Jerk seasoning offers that peculiar Caribbean flavor to your cuisine, as it is native to Jamaica. It brings out the best in what you’re cooking and is indeed an excellent spice option.
Is Jerk Seasoning The Same As Cajun?
Unlike jerk seasoning, Cajun seasoning is rustic. This spice is native to Louisiana and is used in Cajun cuisine, while jerk seasoning is used mainly for jerk cuisine.
The taste of Cajun seems to differ depending on who is making it. It contains evenly blended onion, cayenne, pepper, paprika, etc.
How Long Can I Store Jerk Seasoning?
You will know your jerk seasoning is going bad if it begins to lose its color. So, it is crucial to keep an eye on it and inspect it before using it. On your shelf, jerk seasoning can last for a year. However, when stored correctly, it can last for up to two years.
Where Can I Buy Jerk Seasoning?
Jerk seasoning is pretty accessible. You can buy it at the grocery store or from online vendors. However, most people prefer the homemade jerk seasoning, which is a little bit more challenging to get. You can inquire about homemade jerk seasoning at a spice store.
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Jerk seasoning brings dimension, heat, and complexity to your cuisine. No matter the jerk seasoning substitute used, it cannot directly taste like the jerk seasoning.
It, however, best to make it yourself at home with the help of the instructions given above. This seasoning is very peculiar, but you can use some of the jerk seasoning substitutes given here.