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scott123

Soy Sauce in Jerk

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scott123   

In the jerk sauce thread in the cooking forum, soy sauce was mentioned as an ingredient in a couple of recipes. Since soy sauce is most definitely not Jamaican, it's obviously being substituted for something authentic. Anyone know what that is?

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Ah, but it IS authentic. There has been a Chinese population in Jamaica -- I presume brought there as workers (impressed or un-?). One of my favorite dancers is Richard Chen See, a Jamaican who is clearly of Asian background.

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Ah, but it IS authentic. There has been a Chinese population in Jamaica -- I presume brought there as workers (impressed or un-?). One of my favorite dancers is Richard Chen See, a Jamaican who is clearly of Asian background.

Indeed the Chinese began immigrating to Jamaica around 1860. I wouldn't say they've had a deep influence on Jamaican culture, but the influences exist.

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When Rachel and I went to Jamaica we found a lot of Soy sauce being sold in grocery stores under Jamaican brand names.

There are a lot of Chinese in Jamaica. In fact, there are quite a few Jamaican chinese in the NY metro area. Near my house in fact is a Chinese guy that runs a Jamaican deli -- every time I go in there to buy stuff (patties) he always offers me a small shot of "roots" which is this horrible bitter stuff with medicinal qualities. I drink it, so as to be friendly, but man that stuff is nasty.

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scott123   

You learn something every day. Thanks everyone!

I will add soy sauce to my jerk without reservation :)

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Jerk, is one of the few Jamaican dishes that appeal to the North American and European visitors, but not really that popular with locals, oppose to something like pig tails and red beans.

Their is a small chinese population, which was alot larger prior to the Norman Manley years, who then immigrated mostly to Canada, and alot of the were in the import grocery business. Asian product has been a staple for many years, along with katsup pasta Etc.

Soy sauce is common in Jerk, due to the North American and European Chef working in the resorts Tweekin the recipe, subsituting white vinegar and salt, which was used to help preserve the pork or chicken.

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Jerk,  is one of the few Jamaican dishes that appeal to the North American and European visitors, but not really that popular with locals, oppose to something like pig tails and red beans.

That's not my understanding and experience. When I was in Jamaica, the jerk restaurants and jerk huts along the main roads got huge amounts of traffic from locals.

Jerk PORK is probably more popular than jerk chicken, however.

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...and to make a point that no-one's touched on yet...soy just plain tastes *good* with most meats. So, once you've gotten over thinking of it as an exclusively "Asian" ingredient, why not put it in wherever it works?

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Jason,

You are right, there are alot of Jerk Hut around the beaches, ready to sell you BBQ , Red Stripe, and maybe some ganga, at the same time you can get your hair braided. Actually I was thinking in terms of home cooking.

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viva   
That's not my understanding and experience. When I was in Jamaica, the jerk restaurants and jerk huts along the main roads got huge amounts of traffic from locals.

Jerk PORK is probably more popular than jerk chicken, however.

And the jerk pork is better too. I adore jerk pork with breadfruit & plantains. :wub:

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HKDave   
In the jerk sauce thread in the cooking forum, soy sauce was mentioned as an ingredient in a couple of recipes.  Since soy sauce is most definitely not Jamaican, it's obviously being substituted for something authentic.  Anyone know what that is?

Coming back to the orginal question, I wonder if jerk might have originally used cassareep, the seasoning syrup made from cassava root. While there are Chinese and East Indian populations in the Caribbean, they arrived later than the Africans and obviously later than the indigenous Amerindians. I'm thinking if this dish existed earlier, it may have used a local seasoning. Anyone seen an old jerk recipe with this ingredient?

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Hi guys

The original jerk recipe do not call for soy sauce,the moisture that is present usually comes from the aromatics ie:the escallion,onions, peppers etc. not to mention the high salt content which preserved the meat due to the fact that refridgerators were non existent ,the salt of course plays a big part of the moisture extraction from the fresh seasonings.

In modern times the addition of soy sauce has become popular as a carrier of the seasonings, due to the fact that it would require quite a bit of fresh seasonings to be blended or muddled to extract the liquid necessary to act as the carrying agent or juice.

Regards

Gari Ferguson

Norma's at the Marina

Port Antonio, Jamaica

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