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Barbecued Jamaican Jerk Pork Sandwiches

jamaican jerk pork sandwiches

Even though the summery weather is slowly fading, I’m happy that we can still barbecue for another few weeks. Jamaica Jerk Pork is perfect Autumn barbecue food because the gentle heat of the jerk spices warm you up as the evening cools down. My husband and I loved camping in the fall: the campgrounds were quiet and still, the lake water still warm from the heat of the summer and the bugs had all but disappeared.  And whenever we camped, we always made Jamaican Jerk Pork.

Homemade Jamaican Jerk Pork is so perfect for the home barbecue, or outdoors campfire. The direct heat from the barbecue or campfire gives this dish its special characteristics: smoky, spicy and seared with flavour. Jamaican Jerk Pork is made from cubes of pork seasoned with a spicy, aromatic marinade. After the pork has marinated for a minimum of a four hours (although we always did it overnight) the pork is cooked on the campfire or barbecue until the meat is seared to a deep golden brown on all sides and cooked through. It is pure heaven. We always served the jerk pork with fresh juicy local-grown tomatoes and crisp iceberg lettuce wrapped up in a warmed pita. The heat of the jerk with the coolness of the fresh vegetables is a unique combination.

ingredients for jamaican jerk pork sandwiches

Jamaican Jerk is really easy to make with white and green onion, thyme, soy sauce, oil and a few pantry spices.

herbs and spices for jamaican jerk pork sandwiches

Finely chop all of the ingredients in the food processor.

Barbecuing the pork is super easy. There are two ways that you can barbecue the pork. 1) either on skewers, or 2) in a perforated pan. I usually wrap the pita bread in tin foil and heat it gently by the fire.

jamaican jerk pork sandwiches

Place the grilled pork cubes, into pita bread or a wrap grilled pineapple, tomato and lettuce.

So perfect!

Jerk Pork

Serves: 6
Cooking Time: 12 hours + 20 minutes


  • For the marinade:
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground jamaican pimento (allspice)
  • 1/ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 hot pepper, finely ground (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 Tbsp cidre or white vinegar
  • 3 pounds pork tenderloin
  • condiments:
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • grilled pineapple
  • pita bread
  • condiments such as BBQ sauce or salsa



To Make the Marinade: Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor and blitz until everything is finely chopped.


Cube the pork into pieces about 1". Mix pork cubes and jerk marinade together. Marinate a minimum or 4-6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.


Next day, thread cubes of pork on skewers and barbecue until meat registers 145 degrees F on a cooking thermometer. Meanwhile, warm pita bread in low oven (about 300 degrees) for about 10 minutes. Or, if you are cooking outdoors, wrap the pita in tin foil and place on top of grate to warm up. Don't get them too hot or they will just toast.


Place jerk pork in a bowl and serve with diced tomatoes, grilled pineapple, chopped lettuce and pita bread cut in half and popped open. Alternatively, you can place ingredients on top of pita and just roll up. Serve with your choice of barbecue sauce or salsa if you like.


Tip: The peppers you choose will depend on how spicy you want the jerk marinade. The most common hot peppers available in supermarkets are: jalapeno (mild to hot), serrano (hot), habanero (very hot), bird's eye chill peppers (very very hot). And remember! when working with fresh peppers, be extra careful and never rub your eyes, nose, or mouth when working with peppers. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after cutting the peppers up. Extra Cooking Tip: We love grilled pineapple with the Jamaican Jerk Pork. If you buy fresh pineapple in the grocery store that has the skin and top removed, slice the whole piece down the centre so you have two halves. The slice the two halves in half. This makes it easy to remove the core. After you have sliced away the core (the woody fibrous part in the centre, slice each segment into pieces about 1/2 inch thick and grill these in a perforated vegetable tray on your barbecue.

Recipe adapted slightly from Jerk, Barbecue from Jamaica by Helen Willinsky.


Orange Soy Honey Tofu Marinade for BBQ

cubes of tofu marinating in orange soy honey tofu marinade

We love to barbecue on the weekends, but sometimes I get tired of eating so much meat, so my husband suggested we try marinating and grilling tofu on the barbecue. I came up with this Orange Soy Honey Tofu Marinade last weekend and everyone really enjoyed it. It’s so good: it has sweetness from the orange juice and honey, saltiness from the soy and lots of extra flavour  from the ginger and garlic. Yum!

Tofu is made from coagulated soy milk. It has been made for thousands of years beginning in China. The story goes that a cook once accidentally curdled some soy milk and … tofu was born.

Tofu on its own can be quite bland. But luckily it is fantastic for soaking up the flavours of sauces and marinades. Which is why this marinade works so well with tofu. All the flavours of orange, soy, honey, ginger, and sesame oil soak right into the porous soy cubes. This marinade also works in stir-fries as a sauce with chicken or tofu if you do not barbecue, or it is raining or wintertime. Just use with your favourite stir-fry combination.

Tofu is a super healthy meat alternative. In a 100 gram serving (about 1/2 a cup) there are 70 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 8.2 grams of protein and about 350 mg of calcium, which is about 20% of our daily needs. When compared with chicken or steak, it is much lower in calories and much higher in calcium. Tofu is lower in protein than chicken or steak, but one serving is still enough for your daily needs.

grilled tofu with orange soy honey marinade

When you grill the tofu on a barbeque, you will need a basket with holes in it (pictured above) otherwise the tofu cubes will fall through the grate. You could also use an iron frying pan. On the barbeque, the tofu caramelizes to a lovely golden brown. It’s very difficult to get this result on your stove top, as the barbeque is so much hotter. It would work, but it’s really nice on the barbeque.

Before you begin making this dish, you should press the tofu to remove any extra liquid. When pressed, the tofu is less apt to fall apart on the barbeque.  To press it, first cube the tofu. Then place the tofu in a shallow plate and cover the tofu completely with another plate. Place a weight on top of the plate. For a weight, you could use a can of tomatoes, a small bag of sugar, or anything that weighs about 1 kg. Leave the tofu like that for about 60 minutes. Drain away the liquid, then place the pressed tofu in a container with the Orange Soy Honey Tofu Marinade to soak up all those yummy flavours. Seal the container. Place it in the fridge for as long as 24 hours, and drain the marinade before cooking.

Barbecue on a medium heat until golden brown all over, turning often. Brush on additional marinade as it cooks.


Orange Soy Honey Tofu Marinade for BBQ

Serves: 6
Cooking Time: 15-20


  • marinate the tofu between 1 hour to 24 hours before cooking
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 450 g container of tofu



Press tofu to remove extra liquid. Place tofu on a shallow plate or in a shallow bowl. Place a small plate on top of the tofu. On top of the plate, place an object that weighs about 1 kg (large can of tomatoes, small bag of sugar etc.). Leave for about 60 minutes. Drain away extra liquid.


Chop the garlic and ginger finely.


Add all other ingredients into microwavable bowl.


Place in microwave for about 30 seconds, until the honey and orange juice concentrate are melted.


Stir all ingredients together.


Pour over tofu.


Place in refrigerator for about 2-3 hours.


Grill on medium heat on barbeque. Baste with extra marinade.


Turn tofu a few times until each cube is a nice golden brown.


Focaccia Bread with Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Focaccia Bread with sea salt and black pepper on a plate with butter and knife and drink

The first time that I had focaccia bread was at a little sandwich shop in downtown Toronto. It was so delicious:  chewy, warm, fragrant with olive oil drizzled on top and crunchy with salt and rosemary.

Years later Ifinally learned to bake it myself, after I had bought Antonio Carlucci’s Italian Feast cookbook.The back cover of his cookbook shows four variations of focaccia bread, each one as delectable ss the next.

I don’t know why I waited so long to bake sme, as Focaccia bread is very simple to make. It only has one rise so there is minimal kneading, and it is baked flat  on a cookie tray – so no shaping! And in the summertime, we bake ours on a pizza stone on the barbeque, so you don’t even need to turn on the oven.

Focaccia Bread with sea salt and black pepper on a plate with butter knife and drink

Focaccia bread is delicious eaten plain at dinnertime, or you can use it for sandwiches.  You can also make killer breakfast sandwiches with a simple omelette nestled inbetween two soft warm slices of focaccia.

This bread is delicious at room temperature, but I love it when it’s soft and warm. To warm the focaccia, simply wrap some slices in tin foil and put in the oven on low for about ten minutes, or inside the barbeque for 3-5 minutes.

Focaccia is an excellent starter bread for beginners. This bread bakes up very fast and when baked on the barbecue has a lovely smokiness to it. Baking bread on the barbecue means you can bake anytime of the year.  And the crust is simply amazing; crunchy, hot, smoky. Yum!

Focaccia makes great picnic food. It pairs well with sliced meats, cheese, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and other pickled vegetables. And makes fantastic picnic food.

Sometimes on a hot summer night, we’ll just pack up all our picnic foods and lay them out in the backyard. A picnic in your backyard: nothing could be simpler.

Focaccia Bread with Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 15 - 20 minutes


  • For the Dough
  • 500 g (1 1/4 lb) strong white plain flour
  • 15 grams fresh yeast or 7 grams dry
  • 300 ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 g sea salt
  • For the Topping
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (or chopped onions rosemary or other herbs)



Preheat oven to 475 deg F (with pizza stone) or preheat BBQ with pizza stone


Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Once yeast has bubbled up, add to flour along with the rest of the water, oil and salt. Mix everything together and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy. You can do this in your kitchen mixer with the dough hook.


Put the dough in a bowl that has been slightly oiled with olive oil. Place a damp cloth over top and leave it for one hour until double in size.


Knead the dough again after an hour to knock out any bubbles. Flatten the dough until it is an oval shape and about 1" thick. To create indentations, press your knuckles into the dough several times, keeping the indentations about 1 inch apart. Spread about half the olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle on the toppings. Leave to rise again for about 30 minutes, then pop in the hot oven or BBQ for about 15 minutes until the base sounds hollow when tapped, or when the bottom and top are a nice golden colour.

Adapted from Antonio Carlucci’s cookbook, Italian Feasts.