Halloumi Fries

Alright friends, moment of truth. How many of you haven’t heard of halloumi? No shame – while it’s popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, it’s definitely still picking up steam in America. Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese that’s stored in brine. It’s got a high melting point, making it perfect for frying and grilling. But we’re gonna focus on frying, because today we’re making fries out of this magical cheese.

I’ve been into this cheese for years, now. My best friend and I used to snack on it in high school. We’d eat it straight from the pan. But the first time I tried halloumi fries was in Helsinki, Finland at a restaurant called Yes Yes Yes (which I highly recommend checking out if you’re ever there). These fries were so good that they kinda made me want to move to Helsinki. I still haven’t done that, but I have figured out how to make halloumi fries at home.

My version of halloumi fries is smothered in an herby yogurt sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds and strawberries. I also piled a bunch of fresh herbs on there for good measure. It came out pretty freaking great.

A quick note on ingredients!

For some reason, halloumi is stocked seasonally (during the summer) at many grocery stores. I can sometimes find it off-season, but if you’re having trouble, that may be why. It can also be a little pricey (as in $10+). I’ve found that the halloumi at Trader Joes is really well priced, though (closed to $5!), so I’d recommend getting it there if that’s an option for you.

Additionally, if your normal grocery store doesn’t carry za’atar, head over to your local Middle Eastern market or simply buy it off Amazon. I’ve included an affiliate link in the ingredients list. That means that if you purchase through my link, I’ll get a little referral fee. Don’t worry – it doesn’t affect the price of the item!

Halloumi Fries

Halloumi Fries (4 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • A handful of cilantro, mint and parsley (so 3 handfuls total, plus a little extra for garnishing)
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 packages of halloumi cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp Za’atar Seasoning
  • 3 cups grapeseed oil
  • A handful of pomegranate seeds
  • Like, 4 strawberries (chopped)

Directions

  1. Make some herby yogurt sauce! To do this, throw the avocado, Greek yogurt, herbs, jalapeño, garlic, salt and lemon juice into a food processor or blender. Process or blend until it’s smooth and creamy. This should only be a minute or two.
  2. Cut the halloumi into strips (mine were about an inch wide). Then combine the flour and za’atar in a small bowl, and dip the halloumi strips into this mixture, making sure to cover each side.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy pan until it’s about 350° Fahrenheit. Carefully lower the halloumi slices into the oil and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until they’re a nice golden brown color. Then put them on a plate lined with paper towels. You’ll probably need to do this in a few batches.
  4. Once you’ve got your fries, arrange them on plates with a dollop of yogurt sauce. Sprinkle strawberries and pomegranate seeds on top, followed by the extra herbs you set aside. Then enjoy!

This dish is best eaten immediately, but I can say from experience that it’s still really good a day later. And if you make this and find that you’ve fallen for halloumi, try this next! It’s an early blog post, so the pictures are a horror show (I’ll get around to updating them one day), but the recipe holds up.

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