5 Traditional Caribbean Side Dishes

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Cuban Black Beans Recipe - Caribbean Sides Dishes

Cuban Black Beans Recipe

Across the Caribbean you’ll find some side dishes, like the very versatile plantain, that are loved everywhere you go. There are others like rice and peas and dumplings or bakes that differ only slightly from island to island. There are even some Caribbean side dishes, like St Lucia’s “green fig salad”, that are unique to one particular island. Here are 5 traditional Caribbean side dishes that are sure to please your palate.

1. Cuban Black Beans

This recipe bears the influence of Colonial Spanish cuisine. It is said that the secret to really good Black Beans lies in the special sauce called ‘sofrito’. Whether you buy it off a store shelf or make it with the included recipe, pay attention to that ingredient! It brings together the delicious flavor of this dish.

2. Trinidadian Fried Bakes

The components of this recipe are not unique to Trinidad. In fact, various versions of “bakes” or “fried dumplings” can be found throughout the islands. In the Trinidad version though, Fried Bakes are consistently round in shape, about four inches in diameter, and are flattened before frying. The awesome result is a delicious pillow that you can cut into for a crispy, tasty sandwich. Quit trying to figure out the reason for the name and enjoy!

Trinidadian Fried Bakes Recipe - Caribbean Sides Dishes

Trinidadian Fried Bakes Recipe (shown from Chef Irie’s Bake and Shark Recipe)

3. Dominican Rice with Noodles

‘Arroz con Fideos’ as this dish is called in Spanish, includes long grain white rice with short toasted noodles cooked together in a broth until tender. A version of pilaf, it has its origins in Middle Eastern countries and is said to have been introduced to the Caribbean in the early 19th century. Hearty and delicious, serve it with any meat or vegetarian main dish.

Dominican Rice with Noodles Recipe

Dominican Rice with Noodles Recipe

4. Jamaican Rice and Peas

Serving Rice and Peas on Sunday is almost a rite in the typical Jamaican household. Serve anything else and you have transgressed! Still, it is enjoyed any day of the week and at every special occasion.Traditionally red kidney beans are incorporated, but other legumes like gungu (pigeon) peas can be substituted. Among the key ingredients that produce the irresistible flavor in the Jamaican version of this dish are the coconut milk and scotch bonnet pepper. Once you have tried this flavorful recipe, you’ll definitely be making it again.

Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe - Caribbean Sides Dishes

Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe

5. Barbadian Pickled Cucumber

Here the coolness of the cucumber, the heat of the pepper, the acid of the lime juice and the sweetness of onion are combined to make an interesting, succulent side dish with a special umph! The Bajans have perfected the balance of these contrasting flavors. The result is a unique side that goes well with any meat, and is an integral part of authentic Barbadian Pickled Breadfruit.

cucumber salad with fresh herbs and onions

Barbadian Pickled Cucumbers Recipe