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Jamaican Side Dishes

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Brown Stew Chicken w/ Jamaican Side Dishes Rice and Peas, Fried Plantains & VegetablesBrown Stew Chicken w/ Jamaican Side Dishes Rice and Peas, Fried Plantains & Vegetables

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Ackee and saltfish, Jerk Chicken, Brown Stew Pork, Escoveitch Fish and the list goes on. Jamaican cuisine is filled with tasty main course protein dishes. Unfortunately, the side dishes pale in comparison and besides the regular rice and peas, you might struggle a bit coming up with suitable Jamaican side dishes.

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Here are some of the top Jamaican side dishes.

1. Plantains

Jamaican Green PlantainsJamaican Green Plantains
Jamaican Side Dish - Fried PlantainsJamaican Side Dish - Fried Plantains

These make a great side dish. Plantains are quite similar to bananas, but they are larger in size and have a higher starch content. Plantains can be cooked both green and ripe. It is usually boiled or fried.

Fried green or ripe plantains are mostly eaten at breakfast time or as an accompaniment to other sides such as rice and peas or plain rice. Boiled green and ripe plantains are mostly eaten at dinner time along with a saucy meat dish such as stewed beef, brown stew chicken and curried chicken.

2. Rice Dishes - (With Peas, Pumpkin, Callaloo, Gungo)

Jamaican Side Dishes - Pumpkin RiceJamaican Side Dishes - Pumpkin Rice
Jamaican Side Dishes - Rice and PeasJamaican Side Dishes - Rice and Peas

The go-to side dish and the most commonly served in most restaurants. Rice and peas are made by cooking red kidney beans then adding coconut milk, rice, pepper, pimento seeds, garlic, ginger and scallion and thyme.

Rice and peas are served with a variety of dishes including fried chicken, curry goat, oxtails and many others. Other popular rice dishes are pumpkin rice, callaloo rice, gungo rice and peas and coconut rice.

3. Dumplings

Jamaican Side Dishes | Curry Chicken w/ Boiled DumplingsJamaican Side Dishes | Curry Chicken w/ Boiled Dumplings
Jamaican Side Dishes | Fried DumplingsJamaican Side Dishes | Fried Dumplings

4. Yam

Jamaican Side Dishes - Roast YamJamaican Side Dishes - Roast Yam

There are various types of yam found in jamaica including yellow yam, renta yam and pumpum yam. Yam is most times boiled along with other ground provisions and dumplings and served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

It goes well with just about any main dish you can think of, from vegetables to fish, chicken, pork or beef. Yam is also sometimes roasted, this is most commonly eaten with ackee and saltfish or roasted saltfish.

5. Dasheen, CoCo and Badoo

These are all Jamaican ground provisions, we refer to as โ€œgrung foodโ€. They are all a bit similar in colour and texture. They are normally cooked alongside other foods such as bananas, yam and dumplings. Just as with yams, you can have this with pretty much any main dish and they are frequently cooked in soups.

6. Breadfruit

Jamaican Side Dishes - Roast BreadfruitJamaican Side Dishes - Roast Breadfruit
Jamaican Side Dishes - Fried BreadfruitJamaican Side Dishes - Fried Breadfruit

Breadfruit is roasted over fire then sliced and served hot. When the roasted breadfruit gets cold, it can be sliced and fried. Breadfruit is also boiled, especially in soups or along with other boiled foods.

Did you know breadfruit can also be made into flour?

Watch Video! Breadfruit Flour

My Rastafarian friend, Ms. Watkins shows us how to make Breadfruit Flour.

7. Bammy

Jamaican Side Dishes - BammyJamaican Side Dishes - Bammy

This classic flatbread made from cassava has a distinctive texture. The round bread is fried in little oil until golden brown and is crisp on the exterior and delicate on the inside. Bammy is traditionally paired with escoveitch fish.

8. Festivals

Jamaican Side Dishes - FesticalsJamaican Side Dishes - Festivals

A long, thin shape is created from flour, sugar, and finely crushed cornmeal dough. To get the right consistency, combine ingredients with water or milk, then deep fry them till crisp and golden. Festivals are commonly had with jerk chicken or pork, and ackee and saltfish.

9. Coleslaw

Jamaican Side Dishes - ColeslawJamaican Side Dishes - Coleslaw

Cabbage, onion, carrots, salt, and pepper should all be combined. Dressings made of mayonnaise, lime juice and vinegar are sometimes used. Some people also choose to add raisins to their coleslaw.

10. Steamed Cabbage and Calaloo

Jamaican Side Dishes - CabbageJamaican Side Dishes - Cabbage
Jamaican Side Dishes - CallalooJamaican Side Dishes - Callaloo

A wonderful and nutritious side dish is created by combining cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, scallions, tomato, salt, pepper, thyme, and Scotch bonnet pepper. A great option for those who are a bit more health conscious. A callaloo version can be created by simply swapping out the cabbage with callaloo, or a combination of both can be used.

11. Corn

Jamaican Side Dishes - CornJamaican Side Dishes - Corn

Is another popular side dish. Corn is usually boiled or roasted and eaten with a variety of dishes including fish, vegetables and chicken.

Though the Jamaican side dishes may not be quite plentiful, they are very versatile and most goes well with just about every dish. We have some delicious dishes that you will be able to try on most Caribbean islands, here are some of our favourites now.

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References & Sources For Jamaican Side Dishes

  1. Jamaican Fried Dumplings: Crispy & Perfectly Soft - A YouNique Journey,
  2. 9 Side Dishes Jamaicans Serve with Jerk Chicken,

Jamaican Side Dishes | Written: July 24th, 2022

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