Traditional Recipes

12 Underrated Jamaican Food That More People Should Try

Mackerel Run Down Jamaican Food

A very important part of our Jamaican culture is the food. There are quite a few well-known menu items in the Jamaican culture that people will almost always cook at home, request a restaurant/cook shop/food stall. Meanwhile, there are others that may be deemed underrated, I believe, because not many people have tried or because someone may have tried once and didn’t like how it was prepared in that one instance.

Here is a list of 12 underrated Jamaican foods that more people should try:

1- Curried Tripe and Beans – cow tripe and beans are the main ingredients in this dish, seasoned with curry, coconut milk, peppers and pimento berries with other vegetables and spices. Though a seemingly strange combination, this can be quite a crowd pleaser when made right.

2- Turn Cornmeal – a Jamaican classic made by cooking refined cornmeal in coconut milk, and seasoned with different herbs and spices. It can be eaten on its own or served as a side with your protein choice.

3- Cowskin & Peanut Soup – the main ingredients are dumplings, cow skin and of course peanuts. Though not a very common soup choice, it is definitely a must try when next you are in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica.

4- Mackerel Run Down – Salted mackerel first precooked to remove excess salt, then cooked in a seasoned coconut milk into a thick sauce. You can have this with boiled green bananas and dumplings, fried dumplings or any other side you wish.

5- Ackee & Corned Pork – Ackee and saltfish gets its popularity from being the national dish. In this case the saltfish is substituted with corned pork and can be eaten for breakfast or dinner.

6- Fried Dumpling/Johnny Cakes – whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, these crispy, soft comfort food can be paired with anything and will have anyone falling in love immediately.

Fried Dumpling Johnny Cakes

7- Bully Beef & Rice – this easy and low budget meal is a quick fix for a weeknight dinner. Add some sweet corn to the Bully Beef and grab a slice of pear (avocado) and enjoy!

8- Roast yam & Saltfish – this meal is a popular roadside food on the island and fairly easy to get. This most common yam for this meal is the yellow yam.

9- Twice Fried Plantains (Tostones) – popular side made using green plantains, that are fried, smashed/flatten then refried, hence the name “twice fried”.

10- Stew Peas & Rice – this can be had with meat or ital for vegetarians/vegans. If serving with meat, pigtail and beef are usually the preferred choices.

Simple Jamaican Stew Peas Recipe

Simple Jamaican Stew Peas Recipe

11- Stew Chicken – chicken cooked in a browning sauce, to which some people add potatoes and carrots. This can be eaten with boiled bananas and dumplings for breakfast or some white rice for dinner.

12 – Saltfish and Susumba – Susumber otherwise known as “Gully Beans”, is a green fruit that grows in the wild and is believed to have some medicinal properties. This flavourful stew is made with coconut milk seasoned with pepper, herbs and spices.

12 Underrated Jamaican Food That More People Should Try PIN

Photos – X. Murphy & Deposit Photos

About the author

Annieca Edwards