If you have never had jerk chicken, you are in for some spicy magic inside your mouth. And if you have had jerk chicken before, prepare to simplify and health-ify everything you know into one intensely delicious sandwich.
Tropical Jerk Chik'n Sandwich
- 4 sandwich buns of choice
- 18-20 meatless chicken strips
- 1/2-3/4 cup jerk marinade
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups healthy cabbage slaw
- 1 large plantain, sautéed
- 4-6 tablespoons mango hot sauce
Jerk Marinade Ingredients
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup ginger, chopped
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 tablespoons liquid acids (sub soy sauce)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cinnamon sticks, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons allspice
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorn
- 2 tablespoons nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon salt
Healthy Cabbage Slaw Ingredients
- 1/2 small red cabbage, shredded
- 3/4 cup scallions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons coconut yogurt (sub greek yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Sautéed Plantain Ingredients
- 1 large plantain, sliced into 1/2" thick slices
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Mango Hot Sauce Ingredients
- 1 mango
- 1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce (sub Sriracha)
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar
- Begin by blending all of your jerk marinade ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Place your meatless chicken in a medium sized bowl and pour your jerk marinade over the "chik'n" until it is covered. (You may have marinade left over - that's A-okay!) Set aside while you make the other components.
- To make the cabbage slaw, you want to pour your apple cider vinegar and salt over your shredded cabbage, and massage the cabbage with your hands until it becomes slightly soft. (About 3-5 minutes.)
- Once the cabbage is soft-ish, add in the other ingredients and stir until it is well mixed. Allow the cabbage to sit in the refrigerator while you make the rest of the ingredients.
- Move onto the mango hot sauce, by adding your sliced mango, garlic chili sauce and coconut palm sugar to a blender or food processor. Blend until silky smooth, and set aside in the refrigerator.
- In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over low-medium heat and add your plantain slices when hot. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and let cook on each side for 2-3 minutes.
- Set the plantains aside, and heat a clean skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add your marinated chicken into the pan and sautee for 5-6 minutes, tossing frequently.
- Once the chicken is done, you are ready to assemble! Start with a bun, add about 1/2 cup of your healthy cabbage slaw, topped with 4-5 "chik'n" strips, 3 slices of plantain, and 1 tablespoon of mango hot sauce.
- Add the top of the bun and EAT UP!
I’m on vacation in the Caribbean this week, so it felt appropriate to share my experience with all of you. This way we can all eat “vacation food” for dinner, even if you aren’t on vacation. It’s fun to shake things up like that – a culinary expedition to the islands! And this exploration will be spicy, simple and delicious. You ready? I know I am!
The sandwich is very spicy, and also sweet. The sweetness of the mango and the plantain help balance out the spice of the jerk marinade and hot sauce. And by adding the cool and crunchy cabbage slaw, you get a sandwich with layers of flavors instead of just a kick of spice to the face. So don’t let it scare you.
The jerk marinade packs the most flavor and the most spice of any element in the sandwich. The main reason is because of the Scotch Bonnet peppers that are used. You can learn more about them below, but I encourage all of you to attempt to find them and use ’em. It creates the truly unique jerk flavor that you can’t get anywhere else. HOWEVER, if you are absolutely desperate, you can use habanero peppers instead.
Adjusting the spice level is simple, all you have to do is take the seeds out of the Scotch Bonnet pepper in order to control the spice level of your marinade. If you want it REAL spicy, leave the seeds in – or even make it with 2 peppers! (BOLD MOVE.) The other way to control spice is through the mango hot sauce. You can reduce the amount of chili sauce you add, or increase it depending on how much spice you want. It’s all up to you! Customize the crap out of this baby. After all, you are gonna be putting it in your mouth not mine. I’ve already eaten mine. (okay, maybe I ate two… or three…)
This is a great way to spice-up and lighten-up your summertime meals. Make this your spiciest summer yet! *winky face*