Johnny Cakes – Fried Dumpling

A favorite in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean, the dish is called “pick up” because the salt cod used in the dish is torn into small pieces after the bones have been removed – perfect for “picking up” with your fingers. Frying the fish pieces with onions, hot peppers, and ketchup gives just the right combination of salt and heat.


  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying


  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter or margarine until the mixture forms marble-sized doughballs. Add the water 1 teaspoon at a time, just enough to bring the dough together with a firm consistency.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed frying pot over medium-low heat until hot
  3. Break off peices and Form the dough into slightly flattened biscuits, about 2 inches across. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough well, for about five minutes.
  4. Fry the Johnny Cakes, uncrowded, in the hot oil only until they become golden–(Approx abou t2- 3 minutes)
  5. Remove they Johnny cakes with and drain on a paper towels to absorb the extra vegetable oil.
  6. Johnny cakes are usually served for breakfast with Bully Beef or Ackees. (Serves 6)



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