Brits: What's a "fry-up"?

I’ve gathered that a fry-up is a mainstay of everyday British cuisine, and as far as I can tell it entails pouring basically whatever you have on hand into a pan, adding some form of fat, and applying heat.

Does this dish exist in today’s Britain outside of fiction? Is it common? Is there a recipe, or is my description above on the money?

Fry Up a.k.a. Full English Breakfast a.k.a. Full Welsh Breakfast (when in Wales) Full Scottish etc. etc. Very much still alive which is more than can be said for some of it’s adherents.

Edited to add link

This active thread includes discussion of the ingredients of full breakfasts, English and Irish.

Few people eat anything like that every day. But plenty might have one on a lazy weekend morning, and are likely to have most of the ingredients to hand should they decide to.

Everyone you speak to will have a different version of what constitutes “the perfect fry-up” - getting agreement is pretty much impossible!

Mine would be:

  • 2 x sausages
  • 2 x fried eggs
  • 1 x handful fried mushrooms
  • 2-3 x rashers of bacon
  • 1 x slice of fried bread
  • 1 x dollop of baked beans
  • 1 x grilled tomato
  • tomato ketchup

Eaten for breakfast usually, but only (in my case) 1-2 times a year.

Some people eat this every morning, but they tend to exclude themselves from the gene pool when their arteries get clogged with grease. :slight_smile:

Cooked by chucking it all (except baked beans) in a frying pan with hot fat - I use vegetable oil, but many people use beef dripping - and cooked until crisp. This makes it a good camping / holiday breakfast - one pan, no fuss.

Some people will insist on adding black pudding, others will say it needs brown sauce not ketchup, others might have scrambled eggs, some would say adding beans is an abomination… you get the idea!

Bacon and sausages usually appear in all versions though.

There are some good ones at the Brit and Irish pubs over here. Easy to see why they all die of clogged arteries and coronary problems in Jolly Old and the Emerald Isle, but Man! are they ever good.

A fry up isn’t limited to breakfast - (not that fried breakfasts are always consumed in the morning anyway), although it’s often composed of similar items.

It will probably include eggs and sausages and/or bacon, but may involve fried liver and onions, fried potato slices and mushrooms - these are not so commonly included in a fried or ‘full English’ breakfast.

Definitely exists. It’s a popular weekend “hangover helper”, and I’ll usually have one (well, a subset of one) on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

The traditional ingredients are more precise than your “throw everything in a pan” description. The Wikipedia article is pretty accurate.

There’s enough fat and meat on the plate to leave you full enough for it to count as lunch, I’ve never eaten in any small cafe or restaurant that’s reserved the fry for breakfast only.

Just make sure you don’t confuse it with the kiwi “boil up”.

Enlighten me.

Scroll down.

A quality fry-up is an art form and is also difficult to do in one pan unless it’s for one. For this reason I always have grilled sausages (always good quality butchers sausages), grilled tomatoes, fried bacon (thick cut, quality stuff again), fried, scrambled or poached eggs and mushrooms. You can then add any (or more) of the following:

hash browns
beans (I like beans but not really in fry-ups)
black pudding
fried potato with (or without) onion
fried bread

There are loads of other additions but these are, IMHO, the most usual.

That sounds pretty good, actually. Not sure what they’re talking about when they say watercress takes an hour to cook, but that’s basically a stew or hotpot.

Ugh. The British eat way too much for breakfast. I was staying at a B&B in Wells and the nice lady asked me what I wanted for breakfast. “Oh, just some scrambled eggs and toast would be great,” sez I. Next morning I come down to two places the size of obese children overflowing with eggs and toast respectively. And of course I felt obliged to eat everything because I was taught as a child that it’s rude to leave food on your plate when you’re a guest. I don’t know how I managed to keep my intestines from rupturing.

A fry-up for me would be 1 scrambled egg, an English muffin with butter or cream cheese, coffee and possibly some fruit.

Fry-ups are special occasions. Most of the time we just have toast or cereal. Don’t know what the lady in Wells was doing - B&Bs are usually quite stingy. ETA: I’m guessing she didn’t expect you to eat the lot. Which is a dreadful attitude on her part, IMO.

Correct to say that the boil up above is quite a healthy choice (never mind comparing it to a fry up either)

Is it breakfast? Seems rather, uh, green for breakfast.

Do you really think this one data point is sufficient to support your conclusion that the British eat way too much for breakfast?

How about some other hypotheses?

  • That woman in Wells eats too much for breakfast.
  • That woman in Wells prepares big breakfasts for guests, not knowing how much they might want and not wanting to get a reputation for skimping on the breakfast.
  • British B&B’s serve big breakfasts.

That’s a fry up? :dubious:

Don’t make me larf