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How To Make Jamaican Janga Soup
A Simple But Delicious Recipe

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catching_crayfish_in_jamaicaHow To Make Jamaican Janga Soup

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Soups are a must-have for us Jamaicans, especially on Saturdays, but it is quite common throughout the week. Itโ€™s an all-around dish too. We have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner plus with so many flavours and variations, to choose from, we can never truly get bored. We have introduced you to our more common soups like red peas soup and pumpkin soup before but now itโ€™s time to mix things up a bit with this not-so-popular one, Janga Soup also called Crayfish Soup.

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What is Janga?

Janga is the Jamaican name for a small freshwater crustacean related to lobster that is also known as crawfish or crayfish. You could certainly substitute shrimp for the Janga in this dish, but Janga has far more flavour and stays juicy even after cooking for a long time. Janga is a hit-or-miss for most people. Growing up in the country I would normally see the boys coming back from the river with plenty of it. I found them very appealing to look at and only ever tried the soup once, a couple of months ago.

What are the Healthy benefits of Janga/Crayfish?

The meat and bricks of crayfish are delicious and fatty, unlike other seafood. Because their meat is sweet, fatty, and high in protein, crayfish have a very high nutritional value even though they only make up 15% of the weight of shrimp. While shrimp shells are sturdy, they are not as hard or resilient as sea crab shells, and they easily break off while boiling or steaming.

Like other seafood, crayfish is a great source of low-fat protein and essential vitamins and minerals. One kilogram of crayfish has 14g of protein, 70 calories, 115 mg of cholesterol, and other elements like vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and carbohydrates. By supplying additional nutrients, eating crayfish benefits the health of your skin, hair, eyes, liver, and neurological system. Additionally, the high phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc content of crayfish meat promotes neurological function and helps to fortify muscles and bones.

How to prepare Janga Soup

Janga or Crayfish can be prepared in several ways, including as a curry dish, but most popularly it is used to make soup. With its rich broth, tender vegetables, and succulent crayfish, this dish is a must-try if you are a seafood lover. Hereโ€™s a simple recipe to try at home.

Jamaican Janga Soup Recipe


  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 medium cho cho
  • 2 whole Scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 lb of Janga crayfish
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 lb of yellow yam or white yam
  • 2 small Irish potatoes
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 packet of Maggi or Grace Chicken soup mix
  • 6 grains of pimento
  • 1 stalk of scallion
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Begin by washing the Janga in a mixture of vinegar and water, or lime if preferred. This helps to remove any impurities.
  2. Remove the shell from the Janga, ensuring to inspect the meat carefully.
  3. Boil the Janga for 4 minutes, then drain the water and set aside. Discard the boiled water.
  4. Knead the flour into dough and shape it into dumplings and spinners. Set aside.
  5. Peel and cut the yam, Irish potato, and cho cho into small bite-sized pieces. Wash and set aside.
  6. In a large pot, bring the gallon of water to a boil.
  7. Add all the ingredients except the soup mix, Janga, and Irish potato to the boiling water.
  8. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Add the soup mix, Janga, and Irish potato to the pot.
  10. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  11. Cook for an additional 7 minutes, stirring the ingredients while cooking.
  12. Allow the soup to simmer until all ingredients are tender and flavours are melded.
  13. Adjust seasoning as needed, adding more thyme, salt, black pepper, or Scotch bonnet pepper for extra flavour.
  14. Serve hot and enjoy the rich, savoury goodness of Jamaican Janga Soup.

Since I have had this soup before, I can guarantee you that this one is a must-try, whether or not you are a seafood connoisseur.

So, the next time you're craving a taste of Jamaica, why not try your hand at preparing this authentic Janga Soup? Itโ€™s simple, hearty and full of flavour. The perfect comfort dish.

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References & Sources For How To Make Jamaican Janga Soup

  1. Murphy, W. (2017) Janga soup - Jamaican crayfish soup, Jamaicans and Jamaica - Available at: (Accessed: 05 April 2024).
  2. Nutritional value of crayfish (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 05 April 2024).
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