Fried Halloumi Cheese

Halloumi cheese recipe

When I was in Beirut, I stayed at a hotel with amazing breakfasts. Although I’m not one that likes to inflict myself on the public in the early hours of the day (when I’m not exactly at my best), the breakfasts with their freshly baked Arabic bread and za’atar-filled croissants helped me make the transition from my blissful slumber, and through that difficult period where I’m going to have to realize that at some point I’m going to have to start interacting with others.

Halloumi cheese recipe

Yet just as fast as I got accustomed to those lovely morning treats, I moved to another hotel where those lovely breakfasts were pulled out from under me. The place was fine, but let’s just say the breakfast offerings weren’t quite as enticing. (As much as I’d love to tote around a coffee machine or other apparatus when I travel, my dream is to show up at a hotel and find an in-room espresso machine ready and waiting.)

Halloumi cheese recipe

As I wandered around (and around and around and around) the breakfast buffet, past the canned fruit and European-style breakfast pastries which unfortunately were not from a local bakery, I would invariably find myself in front of the bowl of fried halloumi soaking in olive oil.

Halloumi cheese recipeHalloumi cheese recipe

And that became my daily breakfast: a plate of olive oil, a handful of olives, fried halloumi, and fresh Lebanese saj (flatbread). That was enough for me. (Well, along with plenty of strong coffee.) When I got home to Paris, although I wasn’t quite ready to give up my toast and salted butter morning habit, I did find myself frying up a batch of halloumi every now and then.

Halloumi cheese recipe

Halloumi is a sturdy, brined cheese and is perfect for frying as it holds its shape beautifully once it’s cooked. It’s often found cryo-vac’d so you can keep it on hand and I recently picked up two packets at the Arab food shop that I frequent, because one never knows when one is going to need a fried halloumi fix and I hate being caught short on halloumi.

Halloumi cheese recipe

If you’ve never had fried halloumi, you’re in for a major treat. It’s hard to describe the taste and sensation when you bite into it. It’s slightly rubbery, but squidgy in your mouth in a uniquely pleasant way. (Not sure “squidgy” is a word, but as I mentioned, it’s hard to describe.) And although variations abound, to be honest, I think it’s best with as little embellishment as possible, save for some pepper and a dousing of good olive oil.

Halloumi cheese recipe

Fried Halloumi Cheese
Print Recipe
4 appetizer-size servings
This is a fabulous appetizer or can be served as part of a selection of Middle Eastern appetizers, such as Baba Ganoush, Labneh, and Hummus. Once fried, the cubes of halloumi could also be added to a salad, mixed into a bowl of grains and roasted vegetables, or paired with a plate of juicy tomatoes and some fresh basil. You can easily increase the recipe; just make sure your skillet is large enough to they’re all frying in a single layer. Or prepare them in batches. I do recommend dousing the fried cubes in good-quality olive oil, which makes a difference. In addition to the ground black pepper and red pepper flakes, variations include adding a squirt of lemon juice, a bit of chili oil or paste, mixing in sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano, or dusting the just-fried cubes with sumac, paprika, or za’atar.
8 ounces (225 - 250g) halloumi
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil for frying, plus 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil for dressing the fried cheese
a few generous grinds of black pepper
big pinch of red pepper flakes
1. Drain the halloumi and cut it into cubes; slice the slab in half horizontally, then cut the cheese into batons and slice them into cubes. Pat the cubes very dry with paper towels.
2. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the cubes of halloumi and cook for a few minutes without stirring, until the bottoms are well-browned.
3. Turn the halloumi cubes with a spatula, and brown them on the other sides. They don’t need to be perfectly browned on all sides, but they should be a nice golden brown color for best flavor.
4. Transfer the fried halloumi cubes to a bowl along with any oil in the pan. Grind black pepper over the cheese, add the red pepper flakes and the remaining 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir well, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes: I don’t recommend refrigerating the cheese once fried. It tends to get firm and loses what makes it so special. It tastes so good when it’s freshly made – and it’s so easy – that you can easily make them before serving, and let them sit at room temperature until ready to serve.

Any leftover oil can be reused for another cooking project, such as salad dressing or marinating.

Halloumi cheese (sometimes called haloumi or halumi) is found in Arabic, Turkish, and Greek markets. I also found some recipes online (below) in case you want to try your hand at making your own.

Halloumi cheese recipe

Related Recipes and Links

Baked Goat Cheese

Creamy Feta-Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing

Fried White Beans with Sorrel, Feta and Sumac

Marinated Feta

Cucumber and Feta Salad

8 Tips for Using and Choosing Olive Oil

Grilled Halloumi Cheese Skewers with Mushrooms and Onions (Kalyn’s Kitchen)

Grilled Halloumi with Za’atar and Roasted Red Pepper Coulis (Cook Sister)

Homemade Halloumi (Wholesome Cook)

Haloumi with Cow Milk (Simone’s Kitchen)

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  • October 14, 2013 1:27pm

    I like mine drizzled with a bit of thick, syrupy, high-quality balsamic.

  • May
    October 14, 2013 1:38pm

    I’ve seen halloumi cheese in the cheese section of my supermarket but didn’t really know what to do with it. It would be a great addition to a salad. I will try it for breakfast too. Tx.

  • Annemarie
    October 14, 2013 1:56pm

    Love haloumi in a salad with fresh dates, pomegranate seeds, rocket and mint, a little lemon vinaigrette and you have a very tasty light meal. The sweetness of the dates contrasts with the salty haloumi in a rather delightful manner.

  • October 14, 2013 1:57pm

    Here in Michigan when people do know to fry it (which is too seldom actually), they slice it thin and top it with something. One of the better combinations I’ve had was with dried apricots as a breakfast side.

  • October 14, 2013 1:59pm

    I love salty breakfasts, so the Arabic style spread is at the top of my list. A sprinkling of chili flakes over fried halloumi (besides pepper and olive oil, as you suggest) is as much of an embellishment as it needs. My husband would squeeze lots of lemon juice over his plate, though.

  • October 14, 2013 2:13pm

    Hi David, I’d also find a few fried slices of this cheese – all soft and gooey and squeaky, to be a big incentive to get out of bed! Our kids adore it and hence the trial of a homemade version (thanks for the mention). Pitta’s is one of my favorite brands and widely available here in Australia. Mmm z’aatar spiced croissants, stop it already! :-)

  • October 14, 2013 2:18pm

    I love the combination of halloumi, poached orange water figs and toasted pistachios. It always makes my weekend meal. However I always find it difficult to pair in savoury dishes, maybe because of my limited knowledge in middle eastern cuisine .
    I going to give this salad a try, maybe it spark some more inspiration for this cheese

  • October 14, 2013 2:23pm

    Oooh, I adore halloumi & make sure I always have a block in the fridge – so good for last-minute appetisers! Just stocked up za’atar in Dubai so I think it’s time to go and play in the kitchen. Thanks for the shout-out :)

  • Jennifer Ever
    October 14, 2013 2:25pm

    David, where in Paris do you recommend getting it? I was thinking probably at the big Sabah shop on rue d’Aligre, but if you have other recommendations I’m all ears.

    • October 14, 2013 2:27pm
      David Lebovitz

      That’s where I got my halloumi – they have a very good selection of Arabic products, including cheeses. (30 rue d’Aligre, 75012)

  • Erin
    October 14, 2013 2:25pm

    I am going to make halloumi for the first time tonight and am now very excited. I had read that you should rinse it before cooking, but I notice you don’t. Do you think there is much point to it?

    • October 14, 2013 2:30pm
      David Lebovitz

      You certainly could and it wouldn’t hurt it in any way. It may reduce the saltiness a touch – but it’s a firm cheese so not sure the difference would be all that discernible once it’s all finished. Enjoy it – it’s pretty great if you’ve never had it before : )

  • October 14, 2013 2:41pm

    I’m crazy over Halloumi, and intrigued that they serve it for breakfast. This is something I always try to have in my fridge, because if someone stops by unexpectedly it’s always an impressive nibble. (And thanks for featuring my Halloumi and Mushroom Skewers, so good!)

  • Betty
    October 14, 2013 2:56pm

    I love fried Halloumi as you make it with fresh Lebanese bread and a salad for a light meal. I always get 100percent sheep milk Halloumi and I’ve seen cows milk versions but I’ve never seen a mix of cow, goat and sheep milk.

  • October 14, 2013 3:22pm

    Very nice post..
    I think you can find the best halloumi (hellim) cheese in south cyprus… Also you must come to Turkey :) Best regards, Sevi

    • Jennifer
      October 14, 2013 6:15pm

      Hellim is just as good from North Cyprus too!

      • October 25, 2013 9:26pm


  • October 14, 2013 3:27pm

    Wow. You transported me back home. Growing up with Armenian cooking and having lived in Beirut for a few years, this, and the other appetizer ( Baba Ganoush, Labneh, and Hummus) are total comfort foods for me. Thanks for sharing your memory and the dish!

  • October 14, 2013 3:36pm

    Yum! I could have that breakfast daily…

  • Franko
    October 14, 2013 3:50pm

    halloumi has been an obsession of mine for a couple years now. it’s so amazing in texture and flavor, as you describe. i love, love, love it. i have a hard time finding it in the western US where i live, but fortunately mexican cheeses are not hard to find. i find queso blanco is pretty similar.

  • Martha
    October 14, 2013 4:01pm

    David, yes you are the Best!!!

  • October 14, 2013 4:25pm

    Growing up in Cyprus, halloumi was the only cheese I really knew. It’s actually a trademarked product of Cyprus. Other than fried, we ate it with watermelon and bread for dinner on hot summer nights. We grated it over pasta, or we added it to the bechamel that goes on top of pastitsio.

    But one of my all time favorite ways to have it is to take a slice of good country bread, spread butter on it, then honey, and then top it with slices of halloumi. The combination of sweet, salty, and creamy is amazing.

    • October 14, 2013 4:31pm
      David Lebovitz

      It’s interesting that it’s from Cyprus but has become a somewhat common ingredient in a number of Middle East countries (at least the ones that I’ve been too.) I guess that’s why it is cryo-vac’d, so it’ll make the journey and last longer.

  • Cathy
    October 14, 2013 4:35pm

    Squeaky cheese! Was on a halloumi craze this summer. Had it fried with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Also added it to quinoa salad along with other things like chopped peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes. Thankfully this cheese is widely available in London.

  • Jacqui
    October 14, 2013 4:42pm

    I’ll have to try frying it. I’ve only ever grilled it, to have with grilled veggies (peppers, eggplant, onion) and tossed with smoked paprika Maldon salt and olive oil.. Frying it will make perfect sense on days when it’s raining too much to head out and grill.

  • October 14, 2013 4:48pm

    Love this! Now if it could only transport me to Greece!

  • Desuza
    October 14, 2013 4:55pm

    I scald my halloumi in boiling water for 10 seconds before frying. It does not change the optical result but intensifies the lactic flavour, gives a softer chew and akes the edge off the extreme saltiness. It was how I was taught to prepare it for frying.

  • Desuza
    October 14, 2013 5:00pm

    I notice a reader used the following term in a comment above: I had read that you should rise it before cooking, but I notice you don’t. What does it mean? I’m a NZer and have never heard this term before.

    I think she meant “rinse” and made a typo. I fixed/edited her comment to reflect that. – dl

  • Jonathan
    October 14, 2013 5:07pm

    We love halloumi grilled on figs. Grill the figs flesh side down, then flip. Layer a thin slice of halloumi on top of the fig and let melt a bit. Delicious appetizer.

  • Louise Fazzalari
    October 14, 2013 5:13pm

    Thank you so much for reassuring me I can purchase haloumi in France, as I haven’t had any luck so far, I will try harder next time. I too, love the unusual texture of the fried cheese, which is hard to describe to anyone who hasn’t eaten it.
    Thanks for the added incentive. Louise

  • October 14, 2013 5:18pm

    Never had it, seems so versatile – although with olive oil it looks like the ultimate appetizer.

  • October 14, 2013 5:22pm

    My first exposure to halloumi came thanks to a Cypriot friend who would bring his Aunt’s back to California in his suitcase. I love the Cypriot way of serving with bread, oil and vinegar, capers, and tomatoes. (Although truth be told, I may be confusing things a bit since my primary way of enjoying “The Cypriot Cheese that Doesn’t Melt” for the past decade or so has been at our local Greek festival, maybe my friend didn’t server capers, or tomatoes, I can’t remember). But I remember that I love Halloumi! For Sure. Thanks for sharing.

  • October 14, 2013 6:01pm

    I love this stuff. It’s so good fried and then mixed in with a salad (sort of like a cheesy version of a crouton).

  • Rich
    October 14, 2013 6:11pm

    Thanks for the recipe. My wife had a salad with fried halloumi and watermelon at our favorite restaurants in Bar Harbor, ME (Café This Way–you must go if you’re in the area). And she’s been after me to try to replicate it. A local shop just started carrying it, so time to give it a try!

  • katy
    October 14, 2013 6:13pm

    We dry and oil Haloumi cheese then grill it to put on a nice green salad. The warm squidgy cheese makes a lovely contrast with the greens.

  • Stefan Llewellyn Smith
    October 14, 2013 6:17pm

    Squidgy is a word in the UK. There was an infamous episode with Princess Diana:

    • October 14, 2013 11:37pm
      David Lebovitz

      Whew- glad to know I’m not alone : )

  • October 14, 2013 6:27pm

    The first time I had fried haloumi was when I worked at an Italian deli in high school, and a cheese rep did an in-store presentation. I was hooked from the word go. And yes, “squidgy” is the perfect description for it!

  • October 14, 2013 6:29pm

    Fried cheese for breakfast? Yes please!

  • Dani G.
    October 14, 2013 6:39pm

    You can make your own too. Easy peasy. ;)

  • October 14, 2013 7:50pm

    Halloumi cheese is in the cheese section in two of our markets in Park City. And there is a local cheesemaker, Heber Valley Cheese, that makes a cheese that fries and grills in a similar way. It goes by the name of Juustoleipa and is a Northern European version of halloumi.

  • Claudia
    October 14, 2013 7:54pm

    I absolutely love haloumi… especially when grilled. In the summer, we grill a lot of veg and always include some haloumi as well. We get ours in a log shape, so we slice it (actually, usually them as one never seems to be enough when we have friends over) and then mix it with the sliced vegetables, olive oil and some fresh ground black pepper. With the cheese and a nice hummus, and a little steak on the side, vegetarians and carnivores are well fed!

  • TrishR
    October 14, 2013 8:25pm

    We’ve had it grilled, after picking some up from a local Greek market. As delicious as it was, I just couldn’t get past that “squeak” when biting into it. No idea how to better describe it!

  • October 14, 2013 8:26pm

    Halloumi is wonderful cooked in a ridged grill pan and drizzled with sweet chilli sauce – possibly not for breakfast though!

  • Jeff H (Los Angeles)
    October 14, 2013 8:56pm

    I saute mine in olive oil, then when just about done throw in minced garlic and chopped herbs (any combination of mint, parsley, sage, Greek oregano, etc.), then squeeze in a little lemon juice at the end. With some hummus and flat bread — and wine, dear God wine — HEAVEN.

  • Bob Y
    October 14, 2013 9:08pm

    Your blog mentioning za’atar on the cheese, brings a question from the U.S. Would you know of a mail order source for za’atar? I’ve tried 3 different ones now and all three tasted of stale, dried herbs. Your various blogs about it, particularly the one with the Lebanese farmer has sent me on a fruitless (or za’atarless) search so far, I’m eager to get a taste of it. Thanks.

    • October 14, 2013 11:40pm
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t know of a mail order source for za’atar, but would try to get it in a shop that was busy, where I could take a sniff of the bag to gauge its freshness. Kalustyans in NYC has very good spices (and other Middle Eastern foods) and theirs may be good and fresh, but I’ve not ordered it from them so can’t say for sure.

  • Olivia
    October 14, 2013 10:20pm

    Haloumi wrapped in Lebanese bread, eaten with a bowl of watermelon for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Gourmet at its best. Say no more.

  • Bronwyn
    October 14, 2013 10:47pm

    Halloumi is also very easy and quick to make. Here in New Zealand it is expensive to buy and well worth the few hours it takes to make it yourself. I like it fried in butter with lemon juice squeezed over it.

  • Sandtruck
    October 14, 2013 10:55pm

    And gluten free, woo hoo! Something I can actually eat!

  • Gavrielle
    October 14, 2013 11:12pm

    I find halloumi a bit too salty (same with feta), but a friend recently had a rush of blood to the head and decided to try making halloumi chips (strips crumbed and deep-fried). She said it was amazing, although I’d imagine you’d lose the all-important squeak.

  • Jenny
    October 14, 2013 11:41pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I quite like haloumi, which is available in all the supermarkets here in Aust, but I haven’t tried drizzling it in oil after I have cooked it.

    Just had a trip to Malaysia. Stayed at Campbell House in Georgetown Penang. Beautiful room plus Nespresso coffee maker in the room and homemade lemon ice tea in the fridge. Thought we had died and gone to heaven.

    • October 14, 2013 11:50pm
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t understand why more hotels don’t put espresso machines in their rooms. In the US, many hotels have coffee machines which are great – and although I’m not a huge fan of Nespresso, it’s nice to have a simple way to make a quick coffee that tastes decent. Since hotels are always looking for ways to attract customers (and make money) they could sell the capsules at the front desk (or since Nespresso is expert at marketing), have vending machines where you could buy them. I think it’d be a big hit and everyone would benefit. Including me!

  • Nancy
    October 15, 2013 12:15am

    Loved many of the comments with recipes. I like fried Haloumi with a salsa of chopped cilantro, parsley, capers, lemon zest, anchovies, olive oil and lemon juice. Divine! Also good alongside roasted red peppers!!

  • Leia
    October 15, 2013 12:23am

    My foodie friends and I are always trying to convert more people to the awesomeness that is haloumi, and affectionately refer to it as “squeaky cheese”. It’s pretty common here in Australia; you can get it at literally any supermarket (huzzah for multiculturalism). Good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

  • October 15, 2013 1:13am

    Perfect timing! I just picked up a package of Halloumi the other day, planning to fry it up as a Greek friend used to do, in slices. Now I’ll try it in cubes and with olive oil, and for breakfast no less.

  • October 15, 2013 1:42am

    Last summer, I made grilled halloumi with grilled vegetables (asparagus, peppers, zucchini, etc.) and it was magnificent! I want to try your recipe now, I can easily see it becoming my favorite breakfast food!

  • christiana
    October 15, 2013 1:55am

    I love haloumi with a squeeze of lemon over some rocket leaves…drizzled with olive oil and cracked pepper. Yum!!!

  • Joanna
    October 15, 2013 2:46am

    I was once served it with Cypriot brandy (flamed in front of me) and a quarter of a lemon on the side. Unexpected but nice.

  • Kris
    October 15, 2013 2:56am

    … and travelling in Crete recently we had fried goat cheese which had first been lightly coated in cornflour. It was served with salad leaves and topped with an olive jam. The coating gives it a crunchy texture.

  • Heather
    October 15, 2013 3:14am

    A.) cheese: love it grilled, too. What’s not to love about fried/grilled cheese? Yum, yum, yum
    B.) squidgey: love this word and use it often along with wonky and nubbley. Delightful all!

  • Katherine
    October 15, 2013 4:00am

    The Mandarin Oriental in Geneva has in-room espresso machines ready and waiting. It’s so civilized — why don’t all hotels do this?

  • Parisbreakfast
    October 15, 2013 4:13am

    As a former Astorian, it was always on the menu and in the neighboorhood shops? Love it! Plus it reminds me of fried quejo di Minas from Brazil…double nostalgia

  • October 15, 2013 11:25am

    For the person that wanted zatar – try penzeys.

  • Vidya
    October 15, 2013 1:31pm

    Holy moly, this post. This post really got me. I was just re-combing through your posts on Israel a few days ago, since I’m thinking of planning a trip to the Middle East and I always find your travel suggestions really helpful. After that, I haven’t been able to get tahini and halloumi out of my mind.

    On the espresso machine. I’ve decided that from now on, when I travel, I’m going to tote around a Vietnamese style coffee filter. They’re tiny enough to be carried in your pocket, can be used with several different grinds of coffee, make a really strong, delicious cup (not quite like espresso but I like it better) and don’t need anything else to work but hot water.

  • Melinda
    October 15, 2013 3:24pm

    Fried haloumi is one of my all-time favorite foods. My family and I first enjoyed it during a cruise of the Greek islands. We came home and found it in our local grocery and have been serving it to our friends ever since. I think of my love for Greece every time I eat it. Thanks for all the interesting prep suggestions — although it’s difficult to improve upon the sublimely simple.

  • October 15, 2013 4:27pm

    I’m not sure I’ve ever actually had halloumi before, but this recipe looks so good. I’m definitely going to have to seek some out now!

  • Dennis in Toronto
    October 15, 2013 7:32pm

    David, what are the 5 black objects on the plate with the halloumi in the first and last pics of this post? Prunes? Figs?

  • October 15, 2013 8:18pm

    The black things look like oil cured olives

  • Robyn
    October 15, 2013 9:43pm

    First time I tried Halloumi was for lunch in a cafe, 15 years ago, before it become more widely available here. As a cheese fiend, was so disappointed, when I found it inedible, overhead person at next table sum it up perfectly, ‘this stuff is saltier than salt’, I also love salty things, but this was on a whole new level of saltiness. Have avoided it ever since – your post and all the positive comments here encourage me to buy some and cook with it. Perhaps that halloumi had been mishandled.

  • fishsticksforme
    October 16, 2013 3:14am

    I love how halloumi squeaks on your teeth. You’re right- pleasantly squidgy!

  • anna
    October 16, 2013 9:13am

    As an english girl living in the french alps (yes me again) I am always open for a new cheese variant and I love halloumi (when visitors from the UK ask if I would like anything brought out I often suggest this wonderful cheese)- we call it squeaky cheese – whilst frying i toss in a few capers then squeeze on a little lime just before serving. I’m actually off to Greece on Saturday and am so excited at being able to have it for breakfast.
    Thanks David for your recommendation on the book ‘Auberge of the Flowering Hearth’ – have since ordered 3 for various friends in french and english.

    • October 17, 2013 9:03am
      David Lebovitz

      I love that book (and the cake I made from it). I’m glad that it’s still available although I didn’t know it was translated into French ~

  • anne
    October 16, 2013 1:48pm

    I heard halloumi is best paired with watermelon! :) Cant wait to sink my teeth into it and yes, it’s rubbery and squidgy! Haha!

  • sim
    October 16, 2013 4:20pm

    Didn’t you have a dish of fried Haloumi at the restaurant Hadj Halil in jaffa when in Israel?

    • October 17, 2013 9:02am
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, we did. It was amazing – although I suspect they deep-fried it.

  • Becky
    October 16, 2013 11:24pm

    Hi David, can you recommend a Halloumi substitute? We don’t have Halloumi in Peru! Thanks. Love your blog.

    • October 17, 2013 9:00am
      David Lebovitz

      Halloumi has a high melting point, which means you can fry it to the outside is crispy while keeping the cheese intact. Although I haven’t done it, it seems pretty easy to make yourself (there are a few recipes that I linked to at the end of the post) – you just need to get rennet, which can be ordered online or perhaps via your local pharmacy, which I’ve done in France.

      (A previous commenter from Brazil left a message that there is a cheese there called Minas which they mentioned was similar.)

      A similar dish is baked Feta which although is not exactly the same, is cheese brushed with olive oil and baked, and is delicious too.

  • October 16, 2013 11:32pm

    Love halloumi cheese! If you like halloumi cheese you will also like Brazilian queijo minas. Its a fresh cheese thats packed in water too so hard to get outside of Brazil but same ‘squeaky’ texture as halloumi but softer and milder in taste. You can pan fry it so its golden and crispy on either side and its soo good.

  • Sara
    October 17, 2013 5:20am

    Halloumi on the BBQ has become very common in Australia over the last few years – a quick squeeze of lemon and it keeps the masses happy while they wait for the rest of the goodies!

  • angel
    October 17, 2013 11:11am

    David, yesterday was my first day visiting your blog and i just loved it. I’m a lebanese cuisine lover myself. After reading your entry on the Halloumi cheese I searched the web for a store where to buy it, I live in Valencia but didn’t seem to have succeeded on my task ;) Anyway, very much enjoyed what I’ve read, I believe that i will learn to love your whole blog!

  • A K S
    October 17, 2013 4:49pm

    “- Any leftover oil can be reused for another cooking project, such as salad dressing or marinating” – – but didn’t recent studies show that reusing cooking oil carries a higher risk of it being carcinogenic?

    • October 17, 2013 5:07pm
      David Lebovitz

      I suppose you could throw it away, but it’s pretty flavorful and seems wasteful and I have a hard time discarding olive oil that was used for marinating. (And am not sure how using the oil that is drizzled over the cheese would make it any worse for you than oil that hasn’t been used for marinating – because you’re not “cooking” it again, just consuming it.)

  • Rosemarie
    October 19, 2013 12:03am

    David, you are going to be so envious because I can eat freshly made halloumi every day in my village in NW Cyprus! We fry it with eggs, or toss into an omelette or eat it raw with bread and olives and especially with watermelon. It’s also delicious baked in bread.
    Halloumi has been traced back to Cyprus in a manuscript of 1557 when a future Doge of Venice described it as “Calumi, made in May just when goat & sheep milk is plentiful.”
    I have sat with the village ladies, watched them milk their goats in the afternoon and next morning prepare the halloumi ( it is never called cheese). They heat the milk, add a little rennet and strain off the curds into a dish. The curds are formed into a small pancake shape, salt is rubbed over and often a leaf of fresh mint is put inside. Each one is then folded in half and stored in a container with the whey. It lasts for months without refrigeration. It bears no resemblance to the smell, texture, taste, or shape of the plastic- sealed product which is exported worldwide and loved by so many. This is what Cypriots disdainfully call plastic halloumi.

    However, if you haven’t tasted the real thing, then the mix of cow, goat & sheep milk halloumi is very enjoyable,( I love it too) so I can understand your enthusiasm and its enormous popularity. It just doesn’t have the pungency because the cow milk is at least 70%.

    You’ve visited Beirut and Jerusalem David, both a hop over from the beautiful island of Cyprus. Next time you are in the Middle East do try to visit and try the real thing.

    • October 19, 2013 9:34am
      David Lebovitz

      You’re right – I am envious! Sounds lovely and there are so many (too many!) places to visit…glad you get the real thing, freshly made, and I hope someday to be able to try it.

  • Hajnal
    October 20, 2013 9:33pm

    Halloumi can be very expensive when bought in Greek stores, like the one on St Germain at the intersection with rue Monge, or the one by the St Médard church (about 7 euros a block of cheese). On the other hand, just cross the Porte d’Italie or any other porte for that matter (well, maybe not Porte d’Auteuil), and it is sold between 2 and 3 euros in most oriental foods stores. AND, since it’s brined and vacuum-sealed, you can keep it in your fridge for a very long time, so you can buy a lot at once to make sure you never run out!

  • Thomas
    October 23, 2013 3:07pm

    I was introduced to fried halloumi years ago while living in Edinburgh. Slice the halloumi and then dredge it in flour and fry till golden brown and serve with capers. Delicious. I’m sure you don’t need the flour but it makes for a crispier crust. You may want to give it a try.

    • October 23, 2013 3:14pm
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve seen a few recipes that call for that and I haven’t tried it, thinking it wasn’t necessary. But I have a block of halloumi in my refrigerator, so I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • October 24, 2013 12:52pm

    Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese and the most popular cheese in Cyprus!

  • cynthia
    October 24, 2013 9:50pm

    I had never heard of it until I saw this recipe/pic on Pinterest…

    I made this salad (minus the olives) and it was AMAZING! :-)
    I raved about it here:

    Everyone should eat it! haha

  • Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box
    October 27, 2013 12:54am

    David, how decadent! I’m looking forward to trying this. Thanks, as always.

  • November 1, 2013 3:58pm

    I believe I have had this cheese at a local Greek restaurant, but it was larger slabs and served flaming. If the same it was like heaven in your mouth. I hope I can find the cheese. This is not exactly a culturally rich shopping area except for the typical fare. Thanks for such a great post. I look forward to more.

  • Stephen Willis
    November 1, 2013 4:11pm

    I just returned from a trip to Wisconsin, where fried cheese curds are a way of life. Your halloumi receipe sounds very similar to a cheese curd. I have never found cheese curds in Sausalito, Ca., maybe I will have better luck with halloumi. I look forward to trying it. Thanks

  • Peggy
    November 4, 2013 2:50am

    Our San Diego Trader Joe’s has halloumi; they also have a form of zatar. My mom and I really like the halloumi. I microwave it over some leftover Ethiopian injera with a little butter.. Yum!
    :) Love your comments, David!

  • November 7, 2013 12:04am

    We love halloumi, especially with salads. I usually make an arugula or peppery green salad over some couscous (dressed with something lemony), then top it with fried halloumi. I think this is one of my husband’s favorite meatless dishes.

  • aquanetta
    November 10, 2013 7:59am

    Halloumi cheese is actually very easy to make with some milk and rennet. It doesn’t even require culturing and only takes an hour. People are always super impressed that I made cheese, but it’s not a whole lot harder than making ricotta.

  • Antonia
    November 12, 2013 12:45pm

    Have you tried capers, lime juice and olive oil?