Ulster Fry Vs Irish Breakfast: What's The Difference?

Irish breakfast in pan with silverware on plaid tablecloth
Irish breakfast in pan with silverware on plaid tablecloth - Szakaly/Getty Images

Adelle Davis, author and nutritionist, famously said, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper," and my, have the Irish lived up to the first part. A full Irish breakfast is a staple in the country's cuisine, complete with hearty traditional ingredients guaranteed to fill you up before a long day of working out in the cold — or, in today's society, in the office. But depending on where you are on the island, the name of the dish and the food it typically includes may change. In Ireland, you'll order an Irish breakfast, but in Northern Ireland, you'll order an Ulster fry.

The difference in location is only one of the differences between the Ulster fry and Irish breakfast, despite the fact that they come from the same origin. The other main distinction between these two plates is what they consist of. An Ulster fry will occasionally call for adding baked beans, which are absent in a Southern Irish breakfast. Other optional ingredients appear on both dishes, so you have a few possible assortments even within the two regions.

Read more: 11 Things You Didn't Know You Should Be Doing With Bacon

Breaking Down The Irish Breakfast

Irish boxty with sour cream on white plate
Irish boxty with sour cream on white plate - Elenglush/Shutterstock

A traditional Irish breakfast, also known as a full Irish, typically consists of back bacon (what the locals call "rashers"), pork sausage, fried eggs, chopped button mushrooms, black and/or white pudding (which is actually also sausage), tomatoes, and finally, Irish soda bread. As you can see, this meal won't leave you hungry. The full Irish takes a lot of influence from the full English breakfast, but the main difference in an English breakfast is the inclusion of baked beans.

This is also the main difference between the full Irish and the Ulster fry, so it's easy to see where the influence lies. The Northern Irish Ulster fry includes both soda bread and potatoes, and the potatoes are typically served in the form of a pancake known as boxty. The potatoes may also be served in more of a bread form known as farls, which you'll see is similar but not identical to soda bread when you break down and explain popular Irish foods.

Making Your Own Irish Breakfast

Ulster fry with soda bread and coffee on green background
Ulster fry with soda bread and coffee on green background - Richard Pinder/Shutterstock

When making a full Irish or Ulster fry at home, it's worth noting that all the ingredients are cooked in the same pan and with a glob of Irish butter. They're prepared in a sequence, with the meat needing the most cooking time, but the point is to fry it all up and meld the flavors together.

You may need to swap out a few things when making a full Irish with ingredients from an American grocery store. Boxty differs from other potato pancakes like latkes by using buttermilk, but you can replace them with diner-style crispy hash browns for a similar taste. Black pudding, also known as blood sausage, is difficult to find in the U.S. but can be ordered online and shipped overseas. Instead of focusing on the blood sausage, you can lean into the other meats in the dish, such as the back bacon — which you can find at some retailers — and a classic pork sausage.

You'll have no trouble finding them in-store because button mushrooms, also known as white mushrooms, account for 90% of the mushrooms eaten in the U.S. They are used in both breakfast dishes and are not to be skipped. An Ulster fry and a full Irish call for fried eggs, specifically with runny yolks. If you're having trouble with this part of the dish, a ladle is the secret to a perfectly fried egg and might just save your breakfast.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.