This Jamaican Jerk Cod with Mango Avocado Salsa is fresh, easy, and packed with delicious Caribbean spices and flavor. Ready in just 30 minutes, enjoy this super simple and healthy Jerk Marinated Cod with Jamaican Rice and Peas and sweet mango avocado salsa.
One of my very favorite summer recipes, this Jamaican Jerk Cod Recipe is the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, crunchy, and creamy. Ready in just 30 minutes, enjoy this easy cod recipe with homemade or store-bought Jerk marinade and serve with all your favorite Caribbean inspired flavors!
What is Jamaican Jerk Marinade?
Jerk is a cooking style original to Jamaica. Traditional Jerk marinades are hot, spicy, and bursting with flavor.
Jamaican jerk spice relies on two primary ingredients– Scotch bonnet peppers and allspice.
- Scotch bonnet peppers. Red, yellow, and orange, these bright bonnet-looking peppers are native to the Caribbean Islands and Central America and come with a heat rating of 80,000-400,000 Scoville units (most jalapeño peppers fall somewhere between 2,500-8,000 Scoville units).
- Allspice (Jamaica pimento). The dried unripe fruit of the Pimenta dioica, this bold and flavorful spice is one of the most important ingredients in all Caribbean cooking, including Jerk chicken. Derived the name “allspice” by the English in 1621 who thought it combined the flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
It is the addition of these two ingredients that make authentic Jerk hot and spicy. And that’s exactly how it’s meant to taste.
Jamaican jerk spice comes in two forms- a dry-rub and a wet-marinade. I have cooked with both over the years and personally prefer the marinade.
Jamaican Jerk Cod Ingredients
Both options are good options. Before making my own Jerk marinade I always purchased Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning. If you’re new to Jerk seasoning, I recommend trying store-bought first before committing to making your own. On the other hand, if you’re super sensitive to spicy foods, you may want to make your own and omit the hot chili peppers to insure that your marinade is extra mild.
With this in mind, the ingredients in this Jerk marinated cod recipe are simple-
- Olive oil – You’ll need a little olive oil to prevent the cod from sticking to the skillet while cooking. Sometimes I’ll add a tablespoon of butter at the end of cooking for a little extra flavor.
- Cod (or other white fish) – I love cooking with Cod. It’s readily available – both fresh or frozen – and is mild in flavor. Cod not available? Try tilapia, haddock, or Mahi Mahi.
- Jerk Marinade – Jerk marinade (or seasoning) typically contains allspice berries, onion, scallions, Scotch Bonnet Chiles, Chinese five-spice powder, nutmeg, thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper. Jerk seasoning is bold, filled with flavor, and absolutely delicious.
Is Cod Healthy to eat?
Yes! Although Cod doesn’t get a lot of attention (when, for example, it’s compared to salmon), it is a very healthy fish.
Cod is high in protein, but low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates.
- 1 (3-ounce) serving of cooked Atlantic cod contains 90 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 19 grams of protein.
- 1 (3-ounce) serving of cooked Pacific cod contains 85 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, and 20 grams of protein.
Atlantic and Pacific cod, each found in stores, are very similar. In terms of flavor, however, some say that Atlantic cod is slightly sweeter with large flakes that fall apart easily when cooked. Pacific cod, on the other hand, is less sweet, firmer, and has chunkier flakes.
Additional health benefits of eating cod,
- High source of vitamin B-12. One (3-ounce) serving contains approximately 30% RDI for vitamin B-12 for adults.
- Rich in Phosphorus. Important for bones and teeth. It also helps ensure the proper function of some B vitamins.
- High in Selenium. Help make (and protect!) DNA.
- Cod is low in mercury when compared to other fish.
How to make Jerk Marinated Cod
To make this Jamaican Jerk cod recipe, simply:
- Marinate the Cod. Transfer the cod to a large baking sheet, pan, or plate. Drizzle with approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil and top each fillet with approximately 2 tablespoons of prepared Jerk marinade. Using the back of a spoon, gently rub the marinade all over the fillets. Set aside.
- Cook. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the surface of the hot skillet. Carefully add the cod fillets to the skillet (discarding any remaining marinade). Cover the skillet and cook for approximately 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for an additional 5 minutes on the other side. Fish is ready when it reads 145°F with a digital read meat thermometer.
Find a complete guide on making your own Jerk Marinade in this post.
What to serve with Jamaican Jerk Cod
When deciding what to serve with this Jamaican Jerk Cod simply think about the Caribbean.
My favorite dishes to serve with this recipe include traditional Jamaican Rice and Peas (coconut milk rice with kidney beans) and a sweet mango avocado salsa. The creamy coconut rice with the sweet tropical salsa is a perfect match for the spice-covered fish.
And, of course, let’s not forget about guacamole.
For more seafood recipes check out,
- Fish Ceviche Recipe (How to Make Ceviche)
- Chicken, Sausage and Seafood Gumbo Recipe
- Pineapple Coconut Thai Fish Curry
- Mediterranean Baked Fish with Artichokes and Olives
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp Recipe (with Marinade and Sauce)
- Shrimp Ceviche Recipe (How to Make Shrimp Ceviche)
If you make this Jamaican Jerk cod recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Jamaican Jerk Cod with Mango Avocado Salsa
For the Jerk Marinade
- 3/4 tbsp Allspice berries (coarsely ground)
- 1/2 large yellow onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 3 scallions (chopped)
- 1 Scotch Bonnet Chiles (or 1-2 habanero peppers) (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
- 1/2 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
For the Jerk Marinated Cod
For the Mango Avocado Salsa
- 2 large ripe (yet firm) mangoes (peeled, pitted, and diced)
- 1 small red bell pepper (seeded and diced)
- 1/2 small red onion (finely diced)
- 1 jalapeño (seeded and diced)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 2 limes (juiced)
- 2 large ripe (yet firm) avocados (peeled, pitted, and diced)
For the Jerk Marinade
- Grind the allspice berries. Use a small food processor or spice grinder to coarsely grind the allspice berries (see notes). Transfer to the bowl of a large food processor.
- Prepare the marinade. Add the onion, scallions, Scotch Bonnet Chiles (or Habaneros), garlic, Chinese five-spice, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, salt, and sugar to the bowl of your food processor with the ground allspice berries. Pulse and process until everything is coarsely chopped and combined. With the food processor running, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the soy sauce to the marinade. Remove lid and double-check that all the ingredients have been fully processed. Set aside.
For the Jerk Marinated Cod
- Marinate the Cod. Transfer cod to a large baking sheet, pan, or plate. Drizzle with approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil and top each fillet with approximately 2 tablespoons of Jerk marinade. Using the back of a spoon, gently rub the marinade all over the fillets. Set aside.
- Cook. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Carefully add the cod fillets to the skillet (discarding any remaining marinade), cover, and cook for approximately 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for an additional 5 minutes on the other side. Fish is ready when it reads 145°F with a digital read meat thermometer.
For the Mango Avocado Salsa
- Transfer all ingredients for the salsa (except for the avocado) to a large mixing bowl. Toss well to combine.
- Just before serving, carefully mix in the avocado. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Jamaican Jerk is known for being very spicy. If you are very sensitive to spicy foods, I recommend leaving out the Scotch Bonnet pepper (or habanero peppers) or using a MILD store-bought Jerk marinade.
- Allspice berries are essential to the overall flavor of authentic Jerk Marinades. I do not recommend skipping them.
- You will need to grind the allspice berries before processing with the remaining Jerk marinade ingredients. To do this, you will need to use a small food processor or spice grinder as a large food processor will be too large.
- Scotch Bonnet peppers are the traditional pepper used in Jamaican Jerk recipes. Extremely hard to track down, habanero peppers make an excellent substitute.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)