How To Make Jamaican Dumplings

Surprisingly, it's not as difficult as it sounds to learn how to make Jamaican dumplings.  Fried or boiled, they are a staple in Jamaican cuisine, so it is definitely worth it to learn.  Use this basic recipe for boiled dumplings, and then try the variations suggested.

Things You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • water
  • cooking oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6-8 cups broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)


  1. Mix flour and salt together in a bowl. Meanwhile, pour broth into a saucepan and heat to a slow boil.
  2. Slowly add water. You want to create a thick, sticky batter.
  3. Rub cooking oil on hands (or spray with nonstick cooking spray) and take a small handful of batter and form into a ball (about the size of a golf ball).
  4. Drop each formed dumpling into boiling broth. (Carefully – don’t splash!) Cook for 10-12 minutes.


  • Add water slowly and a little at a time until it forms a ball of dough.
  • Keep hands well greased with oil or cooking spray so dough doesn't stick to your hands.
  • Use these dumplings in soups and stews.
  • Add ¼ tsp baking soda and ½ cup cornflour for a cakey texture.
  • Add 1 tsp cayenne pepper for spice.

Jamaican Dumplings are also delicious fried. Fried dumplings (also called festival dumplings or Johnny cake) are usually served instead of bread for breakfast, or alongside meats and stews. Try this basic recipe for (sweet) Jamaican Fried Dumplings:

Things You'll Need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp. corn meal
  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup Half & Half
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • Vegetable oil (or peanut oil)


  1. Mix together all dry ingredients (sift flour first).
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. (water, half & half, and vanilla extract). Slowly, while stirring, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient mixture.
  3. Ingredients should become a thick, soft dough. Knead the dough a few times (in the bowl is fine). Cover bowl and let rest for half an hour.
  4. Powder your hands with flour (to prevent sticking), and separate the dough into 6 equal pieces. Shape them into long rectangular shapes with about ¼” thickness. Meanwhile, preheat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  5. Once all the dumplings are shaped, fry them in the oil until golden brown (about 2 or 3 minutes), turning only once.
  6. After frying, place the dumplings onto paper towels to drain excess oil. 

Remove the Jamaican fried dumplings from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and put them on paper towels to drain.

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