Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jerk Seafood

Do you know any of Chuck's Hughes speciality dishes? He is a chef here in Montreal, owner of the restaurant Garde-Manger and a Food Network host of Chuck's Day Off.  Recently, he appeared on Iron Chef America and won the battle against Bobby Flay. All the dishes that he made for this epic battle are all in his menu. Considering seafood is a staple at his restaurant (and a lobster tattoo on his forearm), the favours were on him. One of his speciality dish that my Taiwanese friend and I really enjoy is his jerk crab. It is a large common dish where everyone digs in with their hand. The enjoyable part is to get your hands dirty and suck every bits of flavour about of these crabs.

Since my friend loves to cook seafood, he uses several seafood ingredients for his jerk dish. Jerk is a cooking style native to Jamaica where the proteins is dry-rubbed or marinated with a spicy mixture. This mixture consists of two main ingredients: a very spicy pepper and allspice. Other spices, aromatics and herbs are added to accentuate the flavour in the mixture. Traditionally, the marinated meats and seafood are usually cooked in a grill, we did ours in the oven. The cooking time takes longer than the requested time on the grill, but do check for doneness midway. Our jerk seafood turned out spicy, saucy and full of seafood flavour, a guaranteed dinner-party knockout.

Serves 6
Adapted from Food & Wine
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 20-25 mins
Printable Recipe


Jerk Paste
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
4 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch sticks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch grated nutmeg
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp distilled vinegar
Salt and pepper

2 jalapenos, julienned
2 lbs mussels, cleaned
3 calamaris tubes, cut into 1/2-inch tubes
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 lb bay scallops


1. Preheat oven to 500F.

2. In a food processor, combine all jerk paste ingredients until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. In a bowl, combine jalapenos, mussels, calamari, shrimp and bay scallops. Add in the jerk paste.

4. In a 13'' x 9'' baking pan, line two aluminum foil at the bottom. Transfer seafood mixture to baking pan. Cover with two more aluminum foil. Fold up the edges all around to seal.

5. Bake for 20-25 mins until mussels have opened and squid tubes have curled.

6. Remove the aluminum cover and serve in a bowl.


  1. I have yet to catch the episode, but bet it's really good. You know, my mom actually thinks Chuck looks like Ricky Martin.

  2. I love Chuck's Day Off; on our next trip to Mondtreal in September; his restaurant is on my Must go list.

  3. @Rita

    Make sure to make reservations a few week in advance!

  4. A great combination of sea food and lovely dressing...

  5. This looks fantastic! I now deeply regret passing up the mussels that were on sale yesterday.

  6. I love watching his shows, his food is always so delicious looking! Your Jerk Seafood looks really good, I love seafood, and I don't mind getting my hands dirty, that's the way to enjoy with crabs, and prawns too!

  7. Funny that this delicious dish is called a jerk...LOL

  8. Seafood's something. :-)) I would really love to try!

  9. Victor, I've never used jerk seasoning with seafood. It sounds workable. I am unfamiliar with the chef but will keep my eyes open for a repeat of the show with Bobby Flay. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. Nice idea to add jerk seasoning to sea food. Looks delicious.

  11. I love the flavors of this dish!

  12. Hi Victor, I love the idea of jerk seafood. That seasoning blend is always a hit for me :)

  13. I just learned the new paste, named Jerk Paste, hehe...

  14. This looks fabolous!
    Yes, pls. let me know when you are in London.
    We could meet up for a cup of tea,

  15. I can smell the aroma all the way to here in Greece. It looks mouthwatering.

  16. I love Chuck Hughes and I loved seeing him beat Iron Chef Flay :)
    I love jerk seasonings too...this sounds lovely!

  17. Wow, what a creative and delicious take on seafood. This must be incredible.

  18. I love watching Iron Chef America, it's so intense! Kudos to you for making your own sauce - very dedicated indeed, and your photos prove it - it looks amazing!

  19. delicious seafood, yumm, and thanks for visiting my space victor

  20. Wow, I've never tried anything like this, I'm very intrigued!

  21. Excellent sounding recipe with great pictures to to boot. Thanks for sharing!

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