I can remember quite clearly the first time I tried Halloumi aka squeaky cheese. It was on a camping trip with a large group of friends maybe ten years ago. My friend pulled out slices of thick white cheese and put it onto the BBQ..this I thought was a disaster waiting to happen. But instead of melting and dribbling through the grill something wondrous happened. The cheese became golden on the outside and yet held its form. What was this magic cheese and why had I never seen it before. THEN I tasted it and well it was game over, I was in love. If you haven’t tried it I can only compare it to eating a savoury shortbread with a squeaky texture. It is very weird but very very wonderful. Kind of like a legitimate way of eating butter. I have had it countless times since that day. I usually will slice it, rub it with a little chilli oil and griddle it which is amazing and simple.
Then last month I saw that video, you know the one, for Halloumi Fries being served by a street food vendor in London and I knew I had to try them. So I went to London a few weeks ago with every intention of going to grab some but my time there was busy and London is a pretty big place and as it happened everywhere I needed to be was nowhere near the magical fries.
Not one to give up I thought right now I need to make my own. So I did.
Don’t they look amazing? Yes I’m bragging because let me tell you these are just the right levels of crispy and crunchy and soft in all the right places. And if you made these as a side dish people wouldn’t even care about the main.
It’s worth noting that to be able to share this recipe I may have used 3 or 4 blocks of Halloumi in order to get them just right. Oh the things I do for you guys.
The best way I have found of making these ( and I tried baking, air frying and shallow frying ) was by far to shallow fry in a clean rapeseed oil. By clean I mean oil you haven’t already used to make say normal fries. With normal fries ( potato ones ) drying them off is essential yet for these you need the moisture to make the flour mixture cling on. Above all be careful, oil burns are pretty brutal and watch it at all times as they can go from pearly white to overdone in the blink of an eye. The diced herbs aren’t necessary but they add another element of flavour which I love. I always make a dip to serve with any kind of fries but especially these ones. They need a dip I feel.
You will need:
1 block of Halloumi, cut into chips ( reserve the milky liquid in the pack )
100g plain flour
1 heaped tbsp of finely diced rosemary or herb or spice of your choice
1 pinch of salt and black pepper
Mix your flour and seasoning together in a shallow wide bowl. Dip your Halloumi chips into the liquid from the package just to moisten and then place into the bowl of flour, turning to coat on all edges. Leave to sit in the bowl. Place a large, shallow pan over a medium to high heat and add enough oil for about 1/2 an inch depth. When the oil is very hot and starting to bubble, carefully place your Halloumi in. Cook in batches as they will brown more evenly and you will have more control. You need to turn them regularly to get a crispy coating on all sides. They shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Remove from pan ( carefully ) and drain on kitchen towel/paper before sprinkling with some flavoured salt and serving.
I usually serve mine with a sweet chilli mayo, I combine a good quality store bought mayo or homemade if I am feeling any with a tbsp of sweet chilli sauce. The creamy sweet flavour works well with the salty, buttery taste of the Halloumi.
If you try one recipe from my site, make it this one. Do it. Do it now.