Jamaican Jerk Festival spices up NY

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QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) — Tens of thousands of jerk fans are expected to descend on Roy Wilkins Park in Queens this weekend for the city’s largest Caribbean food festival.

The fourth annual Grace Jamaica Jerk Festival starts at noon July 20. Tickets are $30 in advance, and $40 at the gate.

For a complete list of where to buy festival tickets in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey, click here. 

Can’t wait to try the jerked goodness? Below is a festival-ready recipe from PushCartFoods.com:

Jerk Chicken “Rice Paper” Spring Rolls
With sweet and sour pickled onions and tamarind ginger dipping sauce

Serves: 4


  • 8 oz jerked Chicken Breast
  • 1/3-teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-tablespoon jerk sauce
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp shredded carrots
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped green onions (green part only)
  • 1 handful of mixed baby greens
  • Bunch of medium mint leaves
  • 8 (6-inch) round sheets rice paper
  • Lukewarm water


Shred the Chicken into fine “ropa”

In a large bowl, add the lukewarm water, 3 oz rice wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar. Place rice paper inside the warm water, removing when soft and malleable.  Lay wet rice paper on damp towel, wiping away any excess water.

Lay a single sheet of damp rice paper flat.  In the centre, place a few leaves of baby greens, two or three mint leaves, shredded carrots, green onions, and the jerked pork.  Flap one side of the rice paper over and roll.

Jerked Shrimp, Pork or fish can be substituted for the pork or a combination of several different fillings can be used to create an appetizer or tapas plate

Serve with one or more dipping sauces or sides

Spicy Mango & Mint sauce:

  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp corn oil
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet pepper (de-seeded) – can be replaced with ½ tsp of dried chili flakes

Sauté diced fresh mango with a pinch of salt in a saucepan thinly coated in corn oil.  Cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes.  Puree mango in a blender then pass through a strainer before adding finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper (can be substitute with dried chilli flakes) and julienne of mint.

Lemongrass & Coconut sauce:

  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 3 oz Rice Vinegar
  • 4 tea spoon of dried coconut flakes for garnish
  • Finely chop lemongrass and add to rice wine vinegar. Stir in dried coconut flakes and allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Tamarind & Honey sauce:

  • 6 oz tamarind paste (de-seeded)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cups apple juice
  • Dilute tamarind paste with apple juice, adding honey slowly to sweeten.

Sweet & Sour Picked Onions

  • 2 large red onions
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar

Slice onions and place into a bowl. In a saucepan add 1 tablespoon of corn oil bring up to med-high heat. Place onion in pan and add sugar right away and stir. Pour in vinegar and mix and place into a bowl and wrap. Sit aside for 2 hours before using. String out vinegar and use the onions for your dish.

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