Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower is inspired by the popular Jamaican Jerk dishes.Cauliflower florets are seasoned and baked, then smothered in homemade Jamaican Jerk Sauce that is full of bold and indulgent flavors.
Growing up in Jamaica, Jamaican Jerk chicken was very popular. It was sold mostly as a street food, enjoyed by the locals and tourists alike. 19 years ago, I stopped eating meat so I had to resort to making my own jerk sauce to add to tofu or vegetables. This version is my own, I tried to make it as natural as possible using fresh ingredients. From memory, the sauce has several variations to it. The main base ingredients are allspice, thyme, green onions and scotch bonnet peppers.
Interestingly, I asked my hubby about how they made jerk sauce where he lived on the island and he said he rarely ate jerk chicken so he couldn’t tell.
For this recipe, I’m going to use tomato sauce and orange juice, but I have used pineapple juice and ketchup before. If you don’t like a lot of heat, feel free to leave the scotch bonnet pepper out. Substitute your favorite sweetener as well, maple syrup would taste great. While I was making this batch, I whipped up extra and added it to baked tofu and it was delicious as well.
I baked the cauliflower florets using a slight variation one of my popular Cauliflower Nuggets recipe, you are also free to saute your florets instead. While the florets were baking, I made the sauce using a food processor. I then cooked the sauce for 5 minutes then smothered the baked nuggets in the sauce. At this point, I served mine but you can put it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
It tasted so good, took me back to Jamaica, where life is laid back and as we say, “Jamaica No Problem.”
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For: 6 servings
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 3 tablespoons brown rice flour, or other gluten-free flour
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo, or water
- For The Jerk Sauce
- 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 6 allpice berries
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 Scotch Bonnet, or habanero pepperseeds removed and discarded (optional)
- 1/4 cup Bragg's liquid aminos, Tamari soy sauce (gluten-free)
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup raw cane sugar, or more to taste
- 1 lime, juiced
- spring onions, for garnish
- Preheat oven 400 degrees. Lightly grease and line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
- Toss cauliflower with mayonnaise and set aside. Combine batter ingredients in a bowl and whisk to form a loose batter, may need to add some water.
- Dip florets into batter one by one and place onto the baking sheet. Spray or brush with oil. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and crispy, turning halfway.
- While cauliflower is baking, prepare the sauce.
- Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a high speed blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
- Pour sauce into a medium saucepan on medium heat. Cook stirring constantly until sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
- Toss cauliflower florets with sauce.Delicious served with rice and peas!