Belizean Fry Jacks
While they may not be the healthiest item on a plate, Belizean fry jacks are one of the most popular foods in Belize. Looking like mini puff pastries, fry jacks are small triangles or half-moons of dough that are quickly fried until golden brown and served warm as an accompaniment to breakfast or lunch dishes.
No one is quite sure how fry jacks got their name, but these little triangles of puffy and/or crunchy dough are near and dear to every Belizean’s heart.
Why You Have to Taste Belizean Fry Jacks On Your Vacation
They may have a strange name, but fry jacks are one of the most popular staples of Belizean cuisine. More popular than standard bread, fry jacks are little (usually soft and puffy) triangles or crescent moon shaped pieces of dough that are quick fried and served alongside traditional breakfast foods like scrambled eggs, refried beans, and/or cheese. Fry jacks are also popular for lunch and make an excellent addition to rice and beans, stewed chicken, or other Belizean classics.
Where in Belize Can You Find Belizean Fry Jacks?
Fry jacks are one of the most ubiqituous components of Belizean cuisine, so you can find them pretty much anywhere. Usually, small “mom and pop” restaurants serve up the best fry jacks.
When Is the Best Time to Try Fry Jacks?
The most popular way to eat fry jacks in Belize is as part of a complete breakfast. But these tasty treats are so delicious that you can enjoy them pretty much any time of day. Be sure to eat them when they’re hot and fresh-made for maximum deliciousness.
Best Way to Eat Belizean Fry Jacks
Belizean fry jacks are popularly used as basic bread to accompany a wide variety of other dishes in Belize. For a more traditional lunch, eat hot fry jacks with refried beans, meat, and/or cheese. For a more traditional breakfast, eat hot fry jacks with jelly, jam, honey, and/or powdered sugar.
How to Make Belizean Fry Jacks
Fry jacks are traditionally eaten for breakfast and usually accompany either a sweet or savory component. Eat with jam, powdered sugar, or honey for a sweet treat or eat with refried beans and cheese for a savory meal. Fry jacks can also be used to mop up sauces and gravy from other savory dishes.
Although fry jacks taste best when freshly made in Belize, you can enjoy this popular food right at home.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- Oil (for frying)
- Mix flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
- Cut shortening into flour.
- Slowly add water and mix to make a soft but non-sticky dough.
- Divide dough in half and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Flour countertop or board and roll out dough in rounds 10-20 inches in diameter.
- Cut into 3-inch strips and then again crosswise to achieve desired size (traditionally small triangles).
- Fry each side in hot oil until golden brown.
Note: Use very hot oil to ensure the jacks puff up. To prevent the jacks from puffing up and to get a crunchier texture, place a small slit in the dough pieces before frying.