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How To Make A Traditional Ulster Fry

Updated on October 10, 2014

My Ulster Fry

Tasty stuff
Tasty stuff

Introduction To The Traditional Ulster Fry

A traditional Ulster Fry up is considered traditional Irish food and with the potato bread, Irish sausages and bacon, it has truly earned the name of proper traditional Irish food.

Now, I know this looks unhealthy, but I do promise you, it is what we eat for an Irish breakfast some mornings in Ireland and especially at the weekends. If you stay in an Irish hotel, guest house or bed and breakfast, this is likely what will be on offer.

Don't panic though there is also a choice of continental breakfasts in most Irish hotels.

My aunt had one of these every morning and she lived until she was 99, actually only 50 days short of her 100th birthday.

Rule 1 - it has to be fried, not grilled, toasted or any of that healthy stuff.

Ingredients of A Traditional Ulster Fry

  • Back Irish bacon, fried until crisp
  • Irish Sausages, ideally pork but beef work as well
  • An egg free range - fried but still runny, nice and runny

The next will be hard to get but are required

  • Soda Bread - can be found online
  • Potato Bread - can be found in many stores or online
  • Black Pudding - I won't tell you what that is, you can look it up
  • White Pudding - as above
  • Tomato - best fried in the bacon juice

Eating Your Fry Up

Please note there are no beans on a traditional Ulster fry.

Once it arrives it should be salted and then draped nicely with some form of brown sauce.

It goes perfectly with toast as well and although we drink tea for breakfast, it also works well with coffee.

Many people ask me about traditional Irish food, and potato bread and I can promise you now, there is nothing better than the taste of a good old Ulster Fry.

This type of breakfast varies all over Ireland. Ulster is made up of nine counties and six of these form Northern Ireland. Ulster is a province of Ireland and here this is the type of breakfast that is served up.

If you travel to other parts of Ireland then the basics will be the same such as sausage, bacon and egg but the types of pudding and bread will vary as restaurants and hotels tend to source locally.

Healthier Option

Many food establishments will now grill many of the items and less oil means less fat. Personally I think grilling does not give the same taste and makes the fry up a lot drier. It is however slightly healthier that using oil in a frying pan.

Breakfast Options in Ulster

If you check in to an hotel, guest house or B&B the rate usually includes breakfast. When they mention a hot breakfast, they are in essence referring to a fry as I have described above. Depending on the type of place you are staying, there are usually a range of other options which will include:

  • Boiled Eggs
  • Poached Eggs
  • Continental Breakfast
  • Fruit, Yogurts etc
  • Various breads, cold meats
  • Cereals

In a smaller guest house or B&B these options will not all be available but there should be something on the breakfast menu other than a fry.

If you have never tried one before you will enjoy the taste. The bacon and sausages in Ulster are great as are the breads. The only thing I noticed that visitors are divided on is what is called white or black pudding.

You will either love that or hate it and I am a huge fan. It would be interesting to hear your views if you have tried it so please love those in the comments box below.

Close Up Picture of A Traditional Ulster Fry

Traditional Ulster Fry
Traditional Ulster Fry | Source

Ulster Fry Comments

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      Margaret O'Leary-Sparano 

      3 years ago

      My husband and I visited Ireland when we were newly married, almost 20 years ago. We went to the southern counties, and stayed in B&B's, and I was staggered by the breakfasts, which were curiously akin to those we'd had in English B&B's. I'm glad to hear people don't eat like that every day, because it is a huge amount of food (and there were no other options offered where we stayed). I made breakfast like that when my parents visited us in our new home, and they ate as much as they could to be polite, but it's a lot!


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