I didn’t know what to expect from this jerk lobster meal at Little Ochie Seafood Restaurant but let me tell you, it surpassed my expectations. The delicate and slightly sweet taste of the lobster is a seamless marriage with the pungent flavors of the pimento, Scotch Bonnet pepper, mace, scallion and garlic that are the main ingredients of jerk. It was as if they were always destined to be.
It was my first time having lobster done jerk style and when I tasted it, my first thought after I savored the mix of flavors was, why hadn’t any other restaurants put it on their menu?
I’ve written about Little Ochie Seafood Restaurant before but it deserves another mention. Here’s the thing about this place: it’s got an offbeat, distinctive ambiance – and they prepare each meal to order.
In the early days, when the operation was smaller, the seafood was kept in buckets filled with ice. You’d pick your fish, lobster, crab, conch, or shrimp from the bucket and tell the chef how you wanted it done – jerked, grilled, curried, garlic, steamed, brown stewed, or escoveitched. It’s all refrigerated now but that hasn’t detracted from the fresh taste – and you still get to pick.
Once you place your order, look for a boat. I did say that Little Ochie is a seaside restaurant, didn’t I? Don’t worry – the boats are anchored in the sand and they now sport thatched roofs, tables and benches.
If the restaurant’s crowded when you arrive, secure your boat then place your order. Little Ochie’s small enough that your server will find you and bring your meal when it’s done, usually about half an hour later. It could take longer if you have a large party.
There are other items on the menu. The steamed fish is my other favorite and I order that when lobster is out of season. I’ll write about that another time.
How to Make Jerk Lobster
- 4 lobster tails
- 2 tsp. Jerk Seasoning
- ½ cup Butter
- 2 whole scallions
- 2 tsps. lemon/lime juice
- ½ tsp. of hot sauce or 3 drops of Jamaican hot pepper sauce (optional)
- Slice scallions thinly.
- Melt the butter in a small skillet and sauté the scallions until it is golden.
- Add the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
- Add ½ teaspoon of hot sauce or 3 drops of Jamaican hot pepper sauce (optional depending on your taste).
- Let it simmer for about 1 min. then set aside.
- Remove the membrane from the lobster tails and use a sharp knife to split them in half (lengthwise).
- Use a brush to put the butter sauce on each tail.
- Using the same brush, spread the Jerk sauce over the tails especially on the exposed meat. Put your oven setting to broil.
- Put the lobster tails in oven on the meat side for 4 minutes. Turn and cook the shell side for 2 minutes.
- If you want a more smoked taste, you should cook the lobster tails for 2 minutes on each side in the oven, then place on a barbeque grill for 3 minutes. You may need to add more Jerk sauce if you put it on the grill.
- Serve with Festival, bammy or Jamaican hardo bread, or assorted steamed vegetables.
- For a true taste of Jamaica, have a cold Red Stripe beer.
Recipe adapted from jamaicans.com
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