In the depth of winter, I try to think warm thoughts. What better to think about than the flavorful foods from the sunny island of Jamaica. The tropical Caribbean island is famous for its sweet exotic fruits, fresh fish escoveitch (escabeche) and spicy jerked meats. I took inspiration from these dishes and created Jamaican jerk fish with mango sauce and green rice.
“Jerk” is a Jamaican spice rub and cooking procedure that I enjoy using. The rub can be dry or wet, mildly spicy or fiery hot. Since I used flounder, which is a mild fish, I used a dry mild rub. If you would like to use a spicier wet jerk rub, you can find my recipe here with more information about jerk and a recipe for jerked shrimp and a hearts of palm salad. It is delicious used on whole grilled fish, shrimp, chicken and pork.
Jamaican Jerk Fish With Mango Sauce
This recipe serves two persons, adjust accordingly.
- 1 ripe mango, pitted, peeled and diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. or more grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp. each of salt and white pepper
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1/4 c. water
Put all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally until the mango starts to breakup, mashing with the back of a spoon. Cook until it becomes a thick sauce, then taste for additional seasoning.
- 1 Tbsp. Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (the one I buy is a dry blend of ginger, mustard seeds, onion, allspice, garlic, paprika, thyme, fennel, black and red pepper and cloves)
- 1/2 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp. flour (I use Wondra, a fine instant flour)
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 1 or 2 fish filets per person, depending upon size (I used flounder)
- 1 small red bell pepper, julienned and sautéed until tender crisp (optional)
Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the jerk seasoning until fine. Combine in a small bowl with the other spices and the flour.
Brush both sides of the fish filets with the melted butter and sprinkle with the spice flour blend.
Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the fish and cook about two minutes (depending on thickness) on each side until golden.
Remove carefully from the pan with a spatula and plate. Top with some mango sauce and sautéed peppers, if using. Serve extra sauce at the table if desired.
I served the jerked flounder with green rice. To prepare the rice, mix cooked rice with a little butter, salt, pepper, and a spoon or two of coriander chutney. I find the chutney in the international isle where Indian food is sold. It is a wonderful blend of coriander (cilantro), Serrano peppers, coconut and garlic. It is a little spicy and delicious. I garnish the dish with some chopped fresh cilantro.
Until you can head off to a Caribbean island with blue waters, white sand, palm trees and warm sunshine, I hope you will enjoy the tropical sweet and spicy flavors of the Jamaican jerk fish topped with the mango sauce. Perhaps have a Red Stripe beer or a rum punch and think warm thoughts while you savor the flavors of the tropics.