So anyone that knows me knows that I love Pepper shrimp. I went to boarding school in Jamaica high in the Hills of Mandeville, which was a culture shock for me after living in the states between the ages of four to 11. The reason why Mandeville is so important in this story is because about every two or three weeks myself and five other girls who also boarded would take the two hour trip home on a Friday afternoon for the weekend. We would save up our money for that Friday trip so we would have more than enough shrimp to eat on the way home and some left over for when we got home. About half way on the journey there is a place called middle quarters it’s right after a place called bamboo avenue,which the streets are actually lined with bamboo trees in the formation of a tunnel. It is one of the most beautiful places in Jamaica. When you are driving into middle quarters, along the roadside you will see many ladies holding plastic bins either on top of their heads or on their hips. These bins contain the most delicious shrimp you will ever eat. Careful not to stop in too saturated of an area with these ladies because when your car pulls over it will create such pandemonium you would think the queen herself was visiting! Now because of our frequent stops to middle quarters we had our favorite ladies that we would only buy from. They knew we were coming so they would have our pick of the freshest juiciest plumpest shrimp readily available. I have tried to recreate the tase many times but with no success. I am sure it has to do with the type of Shrimp in Jamaica think it’s river Janga or the water, But I make my own adapted version which I am happy with and satisfies my Pepper Shrimp craving. I also put a slight Chinese twist on it. Here goes:
1-2 pounds of head on shrimp 2 Scotch Bonnet peppers cut up. 1/2 cloves of garlic diced. 2 stalks of eskellion (green onion). 1 cup white vinegar. 2 tbsp soy sauce. Sea-salt to taste. 4/5 pimento all spice berries.
Using a small dutch pot (essential in every caribbean household) heat 2/3 tbs vegetable oil when really hot put in the pepper/skellion/garlic/pimento and Fry stirring constantly. Add shrimp and sauté until they start to turn pink. Add vinegar and soy-sauce cover and let stem about 10 min stir and taste sauce add salt if needed. Please post in comments if you have a tip or trick or better recipe! Enjoy.