Grilled Halloumi cheese is perfect for adding to salads and to add extra protein to vegetarian dishes. It’s mozzarella texture and high melting point mean that it retains a gorgeous, firm toothsome texture once grilled, with the smokey flavour from a grill pan.
Before we talk about how to grill halloumi, we should talk about what halloumi actually is.
What is halloumi?
Halloumi is a semi-hard, unripend, brined cheese. It’s part of everyday eating, usually for breakfast, in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and the Levant. It’s usually made from a mixture of unpasteurised sheep’s and goat’s milk, but has expanded to include varying amounts of cow’s milk too. Because halloumi is a brined cheese, it is often relatively salty. Just be cautious when you apply seasoning.
How to make grilled halloumi cheese step by step
Slice your cheese into 1/2 inch thick slices. If the halloumi is sliced too thin, you run the risk of it breaking apart as you slice it and getting very uneven pieces to grill.
Place all the halloumi slices into a dish in a single layer and drizzle with a light coating of olive oil. Season with pepper and a light dusting of salt. I prefer to oil the halloumi itself rather than the grill pan. That’s because it helps to create better contact with the cheese and the pan. If you only oil the pan, the oil will run off the ridges and settle in the grooves of the pan. This creates a lot of smoke.
Get the pan very hot to ensure that the cheese starts to colour immediately. The cheese is best if it’s cooked for about 3 minutes per side. You can grill a minute or two longer if you want very dark grill lines.
More Halloumi FAQ’s
Are halloumi and paneer the same thing?
Great question. No they aren’t the same thing, but they can be used as substitutes for one another in a pinch. What they do have in common is their texture and the way the grill and fry is very similar. What sets them apart is that paneer is very acidic and halloumi has almost no acid in it at all. Those characteristics are what give paneer and halloumi they’re unique non melting properties.
High acidity and very low help prevent melting.
Can you eat halloumi cheese raw?
You bet. But it is so much better fried or grilled and it only take about 6 minutes to do that. So, although you can eat halloumi raw, it would be a little crazy if you did.
What should you eat with halloumi?
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How to Make Grilled Halloumi
- Heat a grill pan over a high heat. Slice the halloumi into 1/2 inch thick slices.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Place the slices onto the grill pan and grill for 3 minutes before turning over and grilling for a further 3 minutes.
- Place the grilled halloumi on a plate and drizzle with a splash more olive oil and top with some lemon zest if desired.