Curious about how to cook halloumi? This post will show you how to fry halloumi perfectly plus how to store it.
What is Halloumi?
Halloumi (or haloumi) is a semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk from Cyprus. Halloumi has a similar texture to mozzarella but a saltier taste with a “squeaky” feel to it. I know, it’s a lot but it’s somehow soft, salt, gooey, squeaky, and crispy all at the same time! Halloumi doesn’t melt like a traditional cheese so it keeps its shape when you fry halloumi.
What You Need To Cook Halloumi
- All you need is a frying pan. No oil needed!
How To Fry Halloumi
- Cut your halloumi into 2cm-ish thick slices (larger pieces means the outside is super crispy and instead warm and gooey).
- In a dry frying panfrying pan, add your halloumi slices. No olive oil or salt is needed. They will release some liquid.
- Let them fry for 2-4 minutes, depending on how crispy you want the outside to be before flipping it. The second side will need half the time of the first side.
How To Eat Halloumi
There are many ways to eat halloumi!
- in a salad
- in a pita
- on avocado toast with an egg
- on its own
- as “fries”
- in a sandwich
- stuffed in a mushroom
How To Store Halloumi Cheese
So this cheese is a little different than cheeses I usually eat so I was a little confused with the storage of it. Some sources state the halloumi can stay fresh for months in the fridge if left in salted water but then other sources state it can only stay up to 2 weeks in the fridge. So at 2AM, confused over the different answers online, I asked some foodies and Ashley, a Vancouver-based cheese expert, helped me out!
If you wrap the cheese in parchment paper or cheese paper before placing it in an airtight container, you can store the halloumi in the fridge for up to two weeks. Ashley says that the “squeaky texture and fresh, briney flavour can suffer if taken out of its original packaging and left in the fridge for very long (even if re-wrapped with care)” so she does not recognize leaving the cheese in a brine for more than 2 weeks. Alternatively, as the cheese comes vacuum sealed, you can vacuum seal it after opened to extend shelf life in the fridge if you desire.
To make sure the cheese last as long as possible, Ashley recommends that you “wear latex or plastic gloves each time you handle the cheese – this prevents cross-contamination with the oils and natural bacteria found on your hands. Or, you can hold the halloumi right at the edges to minimize contact.”
If you are freezing the cheese, you can freeze it in a vacuum sealed bag or wrapped and placed in an airtight container. As the cheese needs to be thawed to fry, I suggest you freeze the halloumi in small portions so you can pull out and thaw what you need instead of the entire block.