Jamaican Fried Dumplings
(aka Johnny Cakes)

The golden roll of deliciousness!

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Jamaican Fried Dumplings
by Nemonie Cassells

jamaican fried dumplings with ackee

Hola! I am about to tell you about my favorite breakfast food!
It’s a golden roll of deliciousness!

And, wanna guess why I love this particular food so much? Well let me tell you…its because it can be eaten with almost any meat kind or meat substitute!

Think about this, brown-stew chicken, curried chicken, kidney, ackee and salt fish, tin mackerel, salted mackerel, sardines, callaloo, steamed cabbage… I can go on and on and on! 

If you’re still wondering what “wonder food” I’m referring to, its none other than Jamaican fried dumplings, aka Johnny Cake! - a favorite to eat at breakfast in almost every Jamaican household. 

These, soft, flaky, golden brown dough pastries, are usually round in shape, but I for one, love to roll and tie mine in a knot (not unusual here in Jamaica by the way).

I must advice you though, that though the Jamaican fried dumplings may look simple to make, it is not as simple as it seem.

There are techniques, and these techniques need to be perfected in order to make the best Johnny cakes. It took me years to master how to make a deliciously perfect batch of  fried dumplings!

The first time I made Johnny cakes( please don’t laugh) I figure I could use them to break a bullet proof window! It was so tough my father asked if I had used cement instead of flour!

After many attempts, I practically gave up on trying to make them like Miss Phang (she owns a restaurant and makes some of the best fried dumplings in Montego Bay, Jamaica!)

It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my daughter and craved some fried dumplings when, like magic, I perfected the art of making Johnny cakes.

What I did was, use all the “secret techniques” I collected from different people and cook books over the years, added, subtracted and vuala the perfect batch!

I have now tailored a recipe (below) just for you!! Enjoy!

Jamaican Fried Dumplings Recipe

jamaican fried dumplings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups counter flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 cup Melted butter
  • 1 cup Cold water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Oil for deep frying

Method

  1. Add flour to mixing bowl.
  2. Add baking powder, salt and melted butter then mix together with spoon( don't worry about the clumps of butter, thats normal)
  3. Pour water into mixture then use hand to mix and knead the flour into dough( if the water is not enough you may add more, small amounts at a time until dough is firm enough)
  4. Cover bowl with cling wrap and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes. This allows the dough to rise.
  5. Pour enough oil for deep frying into frying pan and put on medium flame. Allow oil to become very hot.
  6. Pinch the amount of dough you want depending on the size dumplings you want to make. Roll dough in palm until round then use your thumb and index finger to make a dent in the middle.
  7. Put in oil and allow to fry until golden brown and floating.
  8. Serve and enjoy with your favorite meat of meat substitute!! 

There you have it, simple and easy recipe for you! Enjoy

Be sure to stay in touch for even more great Jamaican recipes, stories and trivia about Jamaica.

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