Jamaican Fried Dumpling

jamaican fried dumpling

This easy and comforting 4-ingredient bread-style side is the crispy on the outside, yet soft and fluffy on the inside! Usually enjoyed during breakfast, but can easily be enjoyed anytime throughout the day!

These Jamaican style dumplings, bring me such joy and comfort. Here is another traditional Jamaican dish usually served with Ackee and Saltfish on a Sunday morning. I recall, waking up the smell of this being prepared in our kitchen by my mom, and getting excited because I woke just in time to indulge while it was still hot! Many have come to love my mothers way of making these – and I’m glad that I’ve learned under her tutelage.

jamaican fried dumpling

This series of Jamaican dishes hits different, because I have grown to cherish the times I spent watching, learning and cooking with my mom in the kitchen. These are more than just dishes, but a true symbol of great memories. I’m honored to show her today, that her legacy of cooking and allowing the kitchen to be a space of comfort, conversation and good eats lives on through me. I can’t wait to have children to do the same!

What is it?

I would sum it up as golden dough balls of deliciousness. Some islands in the Caribbean also call these Johnny Cakes or Bakes. It is a dough mixture of flour, salt, baking powder, butter, and water. The dough is then divided into small pieces and formed into small balls, which is then fried in vegetable oil until golden.

Recipe Tips and Notes

Dough – Do not over work your dough when kneading. As soon as all the ingredients are combined, stop kneading the dough. The dough will still be soft, but this is how you want it to be.

Half Cover Pot & Heat Level – to allow your dumplings to cook you want to half cover your pot. It is not necessary, but a technique my mama taught me.

Medium Low Heat – ensure your oil is hot, but not too hot. We want golden brown, not burnt to a crisp! Fry on medium-low heat, and ensure there are little sizzles of bubbles around each dumpling.

“Patient Man Ride Donkey” – this is a Jamaican saying, and very basically in this context it means do not rush the process. To get golden brown, fluffy, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside dumpling you have to fry them slowly.

jamaican fried dumpling

Best Served With – Ackee & Saltfish, Jack Mackerel in Tomato Sauce, Steamed Calaloo & Saltfish, Bacon & Eggs. It can also be stuffed with Corned Beef!

Important Note – this recipe is more about the technique, than the ingredients. How you combine the ingredients, how you knead the dough, how you form the dumpling. It takes practice, so do not get discouraged – keep trying if your first attempt doesn’t come out as expected!

Jamaican Fried Dumpling

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This easy and comforting 4-ingredient bread-style side is the crispy on the outside, yet soft and fluffy on the inside! Usually enjoyed during breakfast, but can easily be enjoyed anytime throughout the day!


  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 3 tbsp Butter or Margarine
  • ½ cup Cold Water, may need to add 1-2 tbsp more
  • ¼ tsp Salt or to taste
  • Vegetable Oil for cooking





In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.


Add butter to the dry ingredients and use your hands to mix in, evenly.


Gradually add water, use your hands to knead and form the dough, add more water if needed. Dough should be soft but not sticky and wet. Remember not to over knead.


Pinch or cut off golf ball size pieces. In the palm of your hand using a circular motion, form each piece into a ball, flatten slightly, and fold the edges of the dough into the center. Set each dumpling aside.


In a deep medium sized pot, heat oil over medium heat.


Add each dumpling to the heated oil and let allow to fry for about 8 to 10 minutes flipping at the halfway point - do not rush this process, be patient. Keep heat level at low to medium.


Once golden brown, remove from pot, place on a paper towel to drain any excess oil and allow to cool. See notes section.


Enjoy while warm!


a. Gradually add the water, while forming the dough. Once it has been formed - you don't need any additional water. If you add to much, no problem - just add more flour! b. How do you know your dumplings are cooked inside? When you tap the dumplings in the pan with a fork or spoon they should sound hollow.

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