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Jamaican Jerk Rubbed Corn on the Cob

We don’t often hear the word “jerk” associated with food in the United States, but in Jamaica it is has been for many years. Jerk is a style of cooking in which meat is either rubbed or marinated in a blend of spices before cooking. And we’re not talking about a couple spices here — traditional jerk seasoning recipes include 15-20 ingredients for a mouthwateringly complex combination of flavors!


  • 4-6 ears of husked sweet corn (soaked in cold water for 1 hour)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons jerk seasoning (prepared or from recipe below)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions for making Jerk Seasoning:

Combine the following:
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes


Soak husked corn in cold water for one hour prior to preparing your meal. Turn on the grill to medium-high heat about 5 minutes before you are ready to begin preparing the meal.

Pat the corn relatively dry with a paper towel, then rub the ears down with olive oil. Make sure they are evenly coated. Next, rub each ear of corn with the seasoning.

Grill the corn on the hot grill for 15 minutes, making sure to flip every 5 minutes or so. The seasoning will char and the corn will eventually intensify in color as it nears completion. Salt and pepper the corn to your liking, and drizzle with lime juice when you are ready to eat. Enjoy!

Street performers dancing in FALMOUTH, JAMAICA

Jamaican Culture

Against the backdrop of a long and complicated history, the culture of Jamaica has been shaped most profoundly by the 11 million slaves brought from Africa during 300 years of British rule. African traditions are reflected in the colorful art, dance, music and culinary traditions of Jamaica.

You can find more cultural recipes, stories and activities in the book The Cultured Chef: An International Cookbook for Kids