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Ulster Fry - A great breakfast recipe

Updated on August 14, 2014

The Ulster fry breakfast explained

I have travelled quite a bit and have had various different types of breakfast but i have never found anything as satisfying as an Ulster fry. The typical British fried breakfast is the closest thing I have found but the Ulster fry has a couple of secret weapons that are only found in Northern Ireland. This sets this breakfast in a league of its own. These two things are soda and potato bread and i have never found them in any other part of the world. I have also seen wheaten bread and pancakes used but these are well known elsewhere.

These world famous frys are also said to be the very best hangover cure you could find! Maybe thats why us Irish like our frys so much.

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Typical ingredients


Potato bread

Soda bread

Black and white pudding


Sausages ( usually pork but beef can be used )



Red sauce

Making the fry

Normally i would fry the bacon and sausages in the pan in a reasonable ammount of vegatable oil. Traditionally lard would have been used which adds a lot of taste but is full of extremely harmful fats and it very rarely used nowadays for this reason.

Once the bacon is half done I would add the black and white pudding, mushrooms and breads. These will cook pretty quickly so i would have the beans heating at the same time. In a seperate pan, heat some oil and add one or two eggs. I prefer to spoon some oil over the top of the eggs but some people prefer to flip the eggs, its really a matter of taste. I would recommend the seperate pan as it keeps the eggs looking much better.

Just put the fried items on some kitchen roll to reduce the fat and then plate up for a lovely breakfast. I like to have tomato ketchup with mine and many other people prefer HP brown sauce.

Soda bread

Soda bread is really easy to make and is lovely just cooked, toasted or fried. My favourite way to have it is to toast it and put on plenty of butter. I have seen many different breads claiming to be soda bread but the real Irish soda farls are as the picture. They are white in colour and though not totally flat, they are not in any way like a standard loaf shape.

The best way to cook the bread is to mix up the ingredients, shape then cook on a hot gridle pan. The normal ingredients would include

450 g Soft (Plain) flour

7 g Bicarbonate of soda (1½ level teaspoon)

14 g Cream of tartar

20 g Good vegetable or nut oil

284 g Buttermilk, preferably organic

In some stores you can buy specific soda bread flour instead of using standard plain flour.

Potato bread

I have never seen potato bread anywhere other than Northern Ireland. Its looks like a type of flat bread but is much heavier in consistency. Again it is really simple to make and is just cooked on a gridle pan, the same way as soda. This bread is also lovely with a bit of butter when its freshly cooked as well as in a fry.

Typically potato bread is made with flour, potatoes, butter and salt thats just shaped and cooked on a dry gridle pan till brown.

Potato bread goes by many regional names, including fadge, slims, potato cake, potato farls, and tatie bread in Ireland, and tawty or tattie scone in Scotland.

Ulster fry
Ulster fry

What is black pudding

White and black pudding are somewhat of an aquired taste and are a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it. They are made from dried blood with oatmeal, onion and barley added. The whole mixture is incased in a skin and boiled up. The pudding can then be fried off or grilled to taste. There are many different recipes and i have heard of such things being added as garlic, various herbs, nutmeg, salt butter and eggs. There are also many regional and worldwide versions on these puddings with many different names being used worldwide.

I would love to hear from anybody who has variations to the classic fry or to tell me where they found the best fry. Personnally speaking, the country kitchen in Lisburn does a great "Buster fry" that includes chips.

Have your say

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    • katiecolette profile image


      5 years ago

      You are making me so hungry...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds yummy but all that fried stuff? I don't think I have the heart to eat this kind of breakfast.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 

      6 years ago from Somewhere in England

      When I finally do make it to Ulster, I will certainly have an Ulster fry. I'm hoping it'll be 2013 sometime to see Antrim.


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