Caribbean food is my favorite food. Specially authentic Belizean and Jamaican foods. I would say my biased lies in the fact that I’m Belizean on my mother’s side and Jamaican on my father’s side. But if you’ve ever eaten a traditional Belizean or Jamaican dish you more than likely agree with me. One of my favorite sides to prepare with my authentic Jamaican dishes is Jamaican steamed cabbage. It pairs perfectly with most Jamaican dishes if I’m honest.
I first started teaching myself how to make this Jamaican steamed cabbage by watching my sisters’ Dad cook when I was growing up. Between those years I’ve done more taste testing at Jamaican restaurants to perfect the flavors I want on my own steamed cabbage dish. This was the hardest part because if you know anything about Caribbean cooking, nobody measures ANYTHING. The expert family cooks just know when to start and stop. It’s truly a gift. A gift I’ve been working on myself. However, in admiring that gift, I realized I wanted to do my best to share an authentic Jamaican steamed cabbage recipe with you.
One of my favorite dishes to prepare this Jamaican steamed cabbage with is bully beef and rice. Or, corned beef, as most people know it. It’s quick, easy, and tastes like you were in the kitchen cooking for hours. This combo is also one of my favorite comfort foods. It just fills your heart and soul up in a way I can’t fully explain.
With many trials and errors and testing of this recipe, I have finally created a taste test worthy steamed cabbage I feel confident to share with others. As always, you can adjust the seasonings to your liking. To get started you will need:
Jamaican Steamed Cabbage
- 1/2 Head of Cabbage
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/2 Sweet Onion
- 1/2 Bell Pepper any color you prefer
- 6-8 Baby Carrots
- 2 tsp Minced Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Seasoned Salt
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme or 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper *optional: VERY SPICY PEPPER*
Roughly chop your cabbage and rinse the chopped cabbage in a strainer. Set to the side.
Dice or slice your onion and bell pepper. Sit it to the side as well.
Over high heat add your olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter to a medium-large pot. (A pot big enough for your ingredients)
Once the butter has melted in the oil add the minced garlic to the pot and quickly stir the garlic to release the fragrance and not burn the garlic.
Add your bell peppers and onions to the pot and stir well to mix the ingredients together in the pot. Once it's combined let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Now add your chopped cabbage to the hot pot of ingredients. Add your last Tbsp of butter, sprigs of thyme, onion powder, seasoned salt, black pepper, and paprika on top of the cabbage.
Pour the water into the hot pot. There should be a sizzle of steam and place the lid on the pot. Let it cook on high for a minute or two then turn it down to a medium-low. Let it cook for another 10 minutes.
Stir the ingredients in the pot together until they're well combined.
You can let it cook for another 10 minutes if you like your cabbage with a slight crunch. If you want it to be cooked until it's softer, you can let the cabbage simmer in the pot for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Remove the sprig of thyme (and scotch bonnet pepper if you added it).
Plate and enjoy!