What is the Best Substitute for Jerk Seasoning?

by Charlie

If you’re looking to spice up your meal, jerk seasoning is one of the ideal spices to go with. It’s capable of rocking your taste buds, and it is an excellent complement for just about any dish.

You can still want to try something new once in a while and get some great jerk seasoning alternatives.

So, what is the best substitute for jerk seasoning? It would have to be Ras el hanout. Originating from Morocco, Ras el hanout is a lovely spice that can work with just about anything – just like jerk seasoning. You can season this aromatic spice in different ways, and its versatile nature makes it a great addition to any dish. 

An Overview of Jerk Seasoning

Like all components of jerk cooking, jerk seasoning comes from Jamaica. This is why many also call it Jamaican jerk seasoning. The seasoning combines different spices, many of which can vary based on who is making the seasoning and the available ingredients.  

Primarily, the most critical ingredients are green onions, garlic, and thyme. There is also cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and soy sauce. Jerk seasoning is also supposed to be hot – so much so that there is hardly any mild jerk seasoning available.

You can use jerk seasoning for just about anything. It is a fantastic aromatic complement for fish and beef, and it can also help to improve the taste of soups, sauce, and stews.

Reasons for Replacing Jerk Seasoning

While jerk seasoning tastes undoubtedly beautiful, it doesn’t please everyone. Some might want to swap it out in their meals and try something better. Here are a few possible reasons why

  • Heat: As explained earlier, jerk seasoning can be pretty hot. If you don’t have a palette that’s strong enough, you might want to change it for something colder.
  • A Change of Taste: Easing the same thing time and again might not appeal to some people so much. So, it is time for a bit of a change, and you could find some alternatives that taste just as well.
  • Not Enough Ingredients: Jerk seasoning requires quite many ingredients – many of which might not be readily available to you. While you might not be able to make jerk seasoning, you can at least use many of these ingredients to make something comparable.

Options for Jerk Seasoning Alternatives

If you’re looking to swap your jerk seasoning for something else, here are some top choice for you to consider:

Top Recommended Choice: Ras el hanout

Ras el hanout is an aromatic blend of spices that originates from Morocco. So, if you’re ever in the country and would like to bring some food back, consider this one for sure. The spice blend’s name translates to “head of the hop” in English, implying that it is perhaps the best thing you could find at a spice shop.

Most Moroccans use Ras el hanout in unique dishes – not for everyday cooking. It can be seasoned and used in different ways.

Today, Ras el hanout comes in different versions. Each of them comes with a distinct taste, so you will most likely find differences in flavor if you’re sampling it from various sources. However, most of the spice’s recipes come with ingredients like nutmeg, cardamom, mace, anise, ginger, cinnamon, and peppers.

You can prepare the Ras el hanout blend by grinding whole spices, leaves, and roots together. However, there are also simple recipes that you can make by getting everyday ingredients that you already have in your house.  

To make Ras el hanout, a simple recipe will involve the following:

  • A teaspoon of ground cumin
  • A teaspoon of salt
  • A teaspoon of ground dinger
  • Half a teaspoon of coriander seeds, cayenne, ground cinnamon, and ground allspice
  • A quarter teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ¾ teaspoon of ground black pepper.

You merely need to measure all the spices and ensure that your readings are accurate. Combine them in a bowl and stir the mixture evenly. Pour the resulting mixture into a glass jar and store it in a cool, dry place. Avoid direct sunlight or exposure to heat.

Substitute in Lamb Curry: Rogan Josh Seasoning

Not many people know about Rogan Josh seasoning, although it is truly a marvel to the taste buds. This seasoning is perfect for making a tasty lamb curry, although you can also use it for much more.

Rogan Josh seasoning comes with a lovely, aromatic red hue. It features spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and much more. It goes great with eggs and is also pleasant as a part of aromatic stews and soups. You can also use Rogan Josh seasoning as a rub for red meat.

For the most authentic Rogan Josh seasoning spice blend, you want to get Kashmiri peppers. They provide some heat and a lovely color to the entire seasoning. Still, considering that Kashmiri peppers aren’t so popular, you could try adding some paprika into your recipe. Paprika is slightly milder, so instead of heat, you get more warmth.

To make up, you could try increasing the content of cayenne pepper. Note that this is much spicier than Kashmiri pepper, so you might want to take things slow and start with less. You can always change the paprika and cayenne pepper levels to get the ideal heat level for you.

In general, you can make your Rogan Josh seasoning with the following ingredients:

  • A teaspoon of cardamom
  • A teaspoon of cloves
  • Four tablespoons of paprika
  • Cayenne, based on your taste
  • A teaspoon and tablespoon each of salt and chili powder
  • Two tablespoons and teaspoons each of coriander and cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon of ginger powder

As usual, measure all spices as you see fit. Place them in a bowl and mix them until they are blended uniformly. Then, store the mixture in an air-tight container.

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