What Is Caribbean Green Seasoning?
Caribbean green seasoning, also known as Jamaican or Trinidad green seasoning, is an essential condiment used to flavour foods in Caribbean households. This aromatic blend which is similar to Puerto Rican sofrito and Haitian epis, is used to add an aromatic kick to foods. It is effortless to make, with mostly easily accessible ingredients.
Jamaican green seasoning gets its vibrant green colours from the blend of herbs and spices used in its preparation and like most recipes, these vary depending on who is making it and where.
This green seasoning is a staple in Caribbean households and is usually prepared in bulk to use over many days. It is used to season soups, stews, pelau, and curries and for marinating fish and meat. A dollop adds a fantastic depth of flavour to food.
How To Make Caribbean Green Seasoning
Here are the ingredients you need for this green seasoning recipe...
A few notes about ingredients…
- Green herbs: In the Caribbean spirit of “make do”, feel free to substitute the green herbs with what you have available or personalise with your preferred herbs – it will still taste amazing. Traditionally, a herb known as shado beni, which is also called culantro, is added to Jamaican green curry. Unfortunately, it is unavailable where I am, so I have substituted it with cilantro, its close cousin.
- Peppers: Caribbean green seasoning is a hot marinade. Two scotch bonnets make this quite hot already – you can add, reduce or remove depending on your preference. You can also substitute with milder peppers like pimento for less heat.
How To Make Caribbean Green Seasoning
Green seasoning was traditionally prepared daily on grinding stones; till date, some people prefer to use mortar and pestle to get a chunky appearance. A food processor or blender is more convenient and you can make it as chunky or smooth as you prefer.
Wash the scotch bonnet, spring onions, thyme, coriander and parsley.
Trim off the roots of the green onions and cut into smaller pieces.
Cut the stems off the parsley and the coriander.
Remove the thyme leaves from the stalk. An easy way to do this is to hold the end of the stem with one hand and run two fingers down the stem to separate from the leaves and thinner stalks from thick stalks.
Peel the garlic and the ginger.
Peel the onions and cut into smaller pieces.
Remove the stalk from the scotch bonnet.
Add all the ingredients into a blender with the salt. Add three tablespoons of water to help the blending process.
Whizz all the ingredients in the blender or food processor to get a coarse consistency as shown below.
Store in an air-tight jar.
How To Use Caribbean Green Seasoning?
It is a very versatile ingredient and can be used to flavour savoury dishes in as many ways as you can imagine. Some examples are;
- Rub some salt and onion powder into fish or meat. Add a few tablespoons of the green marinade. Rub all over the meat or fish and leave for a few hours to marinate before roasting or grilling.
- Pour over vegetables and allow to marinate for some time before grilling.
- Mix into burger mince for fantastic Island flavours in your burgers.
- Use as base for stews, soups and curries.
- Add to rice dishes like pelau.
- Mix into mayonnaise to add a kick.
Green seasoning will last for up to a week in the fridge. You can keep for longer by freezing - To do this, either pour in a ice-cube tray, freeze and bring out the cubes when needed or pour into a ziplock bag, flatten, freeze then cut off pieces as required.
Other seasoning/marinades to try;
Caribbean Green Seasoning
- 1 bunch Parsley
- 1 bunch Coriander
- ½ bunch Fresh thyme
- 1 head Garlic
- 1 Onion
- 2 inches Ginger
- 2 Scotch bonnet
- 5 sprigs Spring onions
- Salt to taste
- Wash the scotch bonnet, spring onions, thyme, coriander and parsley.
- Trim off the roots of the spring onions and cut into smaller pieces.
- Cut the stems off the parsley and the coriander.
- Remove the thyme leaves from the stalk. An easy way to do this is to hold the end of the stem with one hand and run two fingers down the stem to separate from the leaves and thinner stalks from thick stalks.
- Peel the garlic and the ginger.
- Peel the onions and cut into smaller pieces.
- Remove the stalk from the scotch bonnet.
- Add all the ingredients into a blender with the salt. Add three tablespoons of water to help the blending process.
- Whizz all the ingredients in the blender to get a coarse consistency.
- Store in an air-tight jar.