Allspice berries are the dried, unripe fruits of a tropical evergreen tree native to Jamaica, and were my inspiration for this Jamaican Prawn recipe using a Jerk Seasoning.
Allspice berries are dark brown in colour and average 3mm in diameter. It is called allspice because the flavour is like a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. A word of warning though, don’t confuse ground allspice with mixed spice, which is a blend of sweet spices that is mild by comparison. Scandinavian staples such as herrings in tomato sauce are spiced with allspice, as are many mainstream commercial sauces. Allspice berries are added to pickles and tomato dishes, which they complement beautifully, as they contain the volatile oil eugenol, that is also a key flavour element in the so-called “tomato-herb” Basil. Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is a little like Cajun Seasoning, with highly aromatic notes from the addition of allspice.
JAMAICAN PRAWNS OR SCALLOPS
- 1/2 each red, green and yellow capsicums, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon Herbie’s Spices Jerk Seasoning
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 16 large green prawns, peeled, or 16 scallops
- 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
- Heat oil and cook onion and capsicum until soft.
- Stir in Jerk Seasoning, tomatoes and prawns, and cook until prawns are just done (about 2-3 minutes).
- Serve with fluffy white rice and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- * Note: prepare fluffy white rice in advance
Head to Herbie’s Spices website for more recipe ideas and spice information