Gluten-free, Vegan/Vegetarian

Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry

Loreto October 4, 2018

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Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry, an adventurous way to use this cheese in a most delectable and delicious way!

Song of the day: “Notorious” by Duran Duran.

Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry

Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry, combines a popular staple of ancient Cyprus and quick cooking methods of Asia, to become a fusion dish far beyond words! Absolutely scrumptious!

 

 

Halloumi: The Story Of!

  • Halloumi was born on the island of Cyprus and was the pride of this culture! It dates back as far as 395 AD- 1191 AD during the Medieval Byzantine period.
  • It would not be uncommon to see villages come together as a community to make huge batches, because Cypriot farmers relied on the protein from Halloumi for sustenance. This cheese became varied from village to village, as each had their own special techniques and secret ingredients.
  • Halloumi became so important that many families took on Halloumi as a surname, resulting in last names like Halloumas, Halluma, and Hallumakis becoming very common into the 19th century.
  • It has many names as its popularity grew through the middle east and as far as Italy. Turks call it Hemlin, it is known to Arabs as Hallum, however, Italians call it Halloumi or Calumi.
  • Today it can be found in many cultures and countries and has become an amazing ingredient in many recipes.
  • Halloumi is a hard white cheese made from unpasteurized goat and sheep’s milk, and today cow’s milk is added because it makes it more budget savvy.
  • This cheese has a high melting point and can be an incredibly amazing appetized grilled or fried.
  • Halloumi has become a key element in the cultures of Lebanon, Egypt, and also including Sudan. Its widespread popularity has even made its way to us in Canada. A country proud of the pool of multiculturalism and the plethora of cultural recipes and ingredients. Vive la Halloumi!

Wow! Lots of interesting knowledge on Halloumi. I’m so inspired to use this amazing cheese in our fusion of east meets west resulting in our recipe today Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry!

Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry

To tell you the truth, it was only in the past few months that I had the chance to taste Halloumi. I had tried Saganaki fried with olive oil and lemon juice and spices which I have to say I love! When I tasted the halloumi fried with some spices and seasoning I found it similar in texture to a cheese we eat in Italy called Primo Sale.

How did I think of using it in a stir-fry, well through another blogger, go figure! I think food is about tradition and classic recipes, however, it is also nice to dive into some adventurous territory and fuse culture, flavor and texture to create a delectably scrumptious stunning dish.

With adventure, inspiration, my friend creativity at my side and a basis to start from, finally let’s create Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry!

Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry

What vegetables did we use?
  • Red peppers
  • Green peppers
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

Realistically, this dish is a real vegetable fridge crisper cleaner upper. I say use what you have in your fridge or pantry. As you know our motto is “Waste not, Want not”!

To get the Halloumi nice and crisp I stir-fried it in some veg oil and sesame oil with some garlic and ginger. I can hear you now “you didn’t use lemongrass?” My answer is of course, yes!

I love how this cheese holds together. We cut it in small rectangles and the crispness on the surface of this Halloumi is absolutely incredible.

Helpful tips:
  • To get a nice crisp halloumi, get the wok and oil nice and hot.
  • For quick cooking cut vegetables evenly and not too large.
  • When stir-frying, start with the hardest vegetables like carrots, celery etc, then start to put the other veggies in from hardest to cook to softest like the zucchini and onion, as a result evenly cooked vegetables.
  • Stir-fry the halloumi first before anything then add it in at the end when the veggies are just about done.

I have to taste one, lol!

Oh Wow, I taste the Chinese five spice and all the other seasoning. What really strikes me is the texture, similar to a firm tofu. Love that crisp meets soft tender interior profile, due to this cheese high melting point.

Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry

Okay, let’s get this dish done so we can EAT!

I decided on a light Asian rice noodle to be the base of the dish. What I love about these types of noodles is they are easy and quick to cook, hence time saved and more time for fun things like eating! Into a boiling pot of water they go. A few minutes pass then drain and place in a hot wok to fry up. You gotta love those crisp edges that appear as that hot oil and metal sear the noodles a bit.

Why the eggs you ask?

As you can see above, I added a couple of eggs after I seasoned the noodles with five spice, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and some veggie broth. Well, I kept thinking of fried rice and those luscious soft bits of egg that melt in your mouth, as a result in went the eggs. That’s how I cook most of the time, “intuitively”!

Let’s recap:
  • Firstly, prep, cut vegetables and halloumi.
  • Season and stir-fry Halloumi, set aside.
  • Secondly, stir-fry veggies with garlic, ginger, and Asian-infused veggie broth. Add in cooked Halloumi.
  • Thirdly, cook noodles and stir-fry till nicely coated and crispy on the edges. Don’t forget the eggs!
  • Finally, serve the dish: noodles at the bottom, veggies, and Halloumi on top.
  • Next step, vitally important, Time To EAT!

Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry

Time to plate!

The flavors of this dish knock the tastebuds from sheer enjoyment to Babylon. The noodles have this crisp and starchy dichotomy that is sheer lusciousness. The veggies still al dente and full of sweetness, earthiness and spice. I can taste the lemongrass offering some well thought out bright notes, however, the halloumi is the star of the show. Packed with flavors from the five spice to those bit of garlic and ginger, and that bit of soy sauce allows the color of the halloumi to transform. As a result, beautiful dark mysterious golden hues.

The whole dish as a canvas is a stunning representation of color, texture, and dimension.

Have you ever tried Halloumi? My suggestion is, get some heat up that wok. I want to hear those knives working away chopping those wonderful veggies, and finally hearing the sounds of searing in the wok.

Make tonight Asian/Middle Eastern fusion night. Wok up some Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry!

Enjoy!

Song of the day: “Notorious”  by Duran Duran.

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Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry

Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 15 + 30 minutes for marinating
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Method: Stir-fry
  • Cuisine: Fusion

Description

Halloumi and Vegetable Stir Fry, combines a popular staple of ancient Cyprus and quick cooking methods of Asia, to become a fusion dish far beyond words! Absolutely scrumptious!


Ingredients

Halloumi:

  • Halloumi
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • Pinch of Chinese five spice
  • 1 tsp lemongrass
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Splash of veggie stock
  • 1 tsp each minced garlic and ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

Vegetables:

  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 green pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 small onion, chopped into slivers
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic. minced
  • 2 small to medium carrots, slivered
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp lemon grass
  • 1 Tbsp chopped green onion

Noodles:

  • 4 squares of flat rice noodles
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2  Tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 free range organic eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:

  • 1 Tbsp minced green onion

Instructions

Halloumi:

  1. Cut Halloumi into small rectangles about 2 inch by 1 inch by 1/2 inch thick. Place in a bowl and marinate with sesame oil, soy sauce, five spice, and lemongrass. Let marinate for about a 1/2 hour.
  2. Heat up vegetable oil in a wok to a high heat.
  3. Toss in marinated halloumi and garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for about 3-5 minutes until cheese starts to crisp and brown on the surface. Toss in garlic, ginger, soy sauce, oyster sauce. Splash some vegetable stock in and cook until sauce thickens coating the halloumi nicely, about 2 minutes. Take out of wok and set aside.

Vegetables:

  1. Clean wok with paper towel and add in vegetable oil and sesame oil for vegetables. Heat to a high temperature. Throw in carrots, red and green peppers and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Place in onions, zucchini, five spice, garlic, and ginger. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour in soy sauce, lemongrass, oyster sauce, and vegetable stock. Stir-fry until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Noodles:

  1. While veggies are cooking bring a medium pot of water to boil. Place in rice flat noodles and boil until soft and free from one another. Drain.
  2. In a wok heat up vegetable oil and sesame oil. Drop in noodles, separating them as they go in. Fry until you start to see them crisp on the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Toss in garlic, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, oyster sauce. Toss well, allowing the sauce to cover the noodles well.  Finish cooking with a bit of vegetable stock braising the noodles and cook until all stock is gone, about 3 minutes.

Don’t forget the eggs:

  1. Just before noodles are done, crack 2 eggs in and toss and scramble with noodles until cooked.
  2. You want the eggs to be soft and moist, similar to scrambled eggs.

Halloumi:

  1. Place cooked halloumi into vegetables and toss for about 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

Plating:

  1. Place noodles on a serving dish. Spoon vegetables and halloumi onto noodles. Finish with a pinch of minced green onion.
  2. Ready to serve.

Enjoy!


Notes

  • Make sure the wok is nice and hot before starting to stir-fry.
  • You can use the vegetables that are in your fridge.
  • Always place hardest cooking vegetables first then add others according to cooking times.
  • I use a combination oil of vegetable and sesame oil, however, you can use the oil of your choice. Just pick one with a high heat profile.

Halloumi and Vegeatble Stir Fry

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23 Comments

  • Reply Shelley October 4, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    What a fun, creative fusion! I love Halloumi (although golly – I sure didn’t know so much about its history before today!), but it wouldn’t have occurred to me to use it in a stir-fry. Brilliant! And you’re so right about those “beautiful dark mysterious golden hues” – REALLY alluring!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 6, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Thank you Shelley. Thats what I love about food is the creative ways in which to use ingredients. It is also even better when they turn oout like this halloumi in this stir fry!
      Have a great day!
      Loreto

  • Reply Georgie October 5, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    This looks amazing! I’m obsessed with haloumi!! And have been craving stir fries lately!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 5, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      Hi Georgie, well if Halloumi is your thing and your craving stir fry. We have a cure, this recipe, absolutely colorful and delicious! Thanks for comenting!
      Loreto

  • Reply Analida Braeger October 5, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Veggies, noodles, and CHEESE! What an alluring combination. I’ve never ventured outside of salads for Halloumi cheese. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 5, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      You are so welcome, love to inspire Analida. You are going to love this. Especially the halloumi when it is all fried and crispy!
      Happy cooking!
      Loreto

  • Reply Dominique | Perchance to Cook October 5, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Forget about takeout! This stir-fry looks amazing! I love the use of halloumi here… I’ve never thought to use it in stir-fry but now I can’t stop thinking about how great this would be. YUM

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 5, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you Dominique, thats the great thing about food sharing and inspiration, and when it is this scrumptious all the better.
      Cheers!
      Loreto

  • Reply Vanessa Price October 6, 2018 at 11:38 am

    This is my kind of comfort food. It looks SO GOOD. And I love the addition of melty halloumi to an already great stir fry.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 6, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you Vanessa, The halloumi really holds well on the surface nicely golden and crispy. Then the interior is luscious and soft. A perfect play on texture to go with an already delicious stir fry!
      Have a wonderful weekend!
      Loreto

  • Reply Renee Gardner October 6, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    I am suddenly very hungry and I think only this stir fry will cure it! I haven’t tried halloumi, but I love all things cheese. It looks like it would be a great replacement for chicken in other dishes too.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      Most definately Renee. It has a wonderful meaty texture and it is a great foundation to recieve infused brilliant flavors. I sure hope you get to try this dish. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
      Happy cooking!
      Loreto

  • Reply Nicole October 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Oh wow! Thank you for the history lesson about this dish! It looks awesome!

  • Reply Michele October 7, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    What a gorgeous dish! I love that it’s packed with so many vegetables. I’ve never tried halloumi, but it looks delicious!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 8, 2018 at 7:34 am

      Hi Michele, I love that we have brought halloumi to the table. It is nice to hear that you have not tried this cheese, as we have hopefully inspired you to try some. It is a great cheese to use. It crisps up nicely and takes on flavors so nicely.
      Heres to great ingredients!
      Have fun cooking!
      loreto

  • Reply charity October 7, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    I’ve never had a Cypriot dish before but looking at this, I can’t for the life of me figure out why. It looks amazing and I really like noodle based stir fry. Next time I need to do a good cleanse of my produce drawer I’m going to give this a go.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 8, 2018 at 7:28 am

      Hi Charity I am so excited, can’t wait for you to try this dish. I loved the noodles, they had nice crispy edges which taste amazing and the combination of textxures play so joyfully on your tongue. I think you are going to love this!
      Happy cooking!
      Loreto

  • Reply Jessica (Swanky Recipes) October 7, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    I have an overload of vegetables growing in our garden still and this recipe is perfect to use them up in. This sounds amazing for a quick weeknight dinner!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 8, 2018 at 7:23 am

      Hi Jessica oh yeah that is amazing that you still have lots of veggies in your garden. I wish I could say the same we are under snow. You are right a perfect recipe for all your lovely produce. Thank you for commenting!
      Have a great week!
      Loreto

  • Reply Holly October 7, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    This looks and sounds like a fantastically flavorful meal! I adore halloumi and that you combined it with a such a yummy mixture of spices, sauces and veggies – yum!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 8, 2018 at 7:19 am

      Thank you Holly! That is what I love about stir fries a great way to combine veggies and sauces with protiens. The halloumi was perfect texturally and flavor wise. A real kepper! So glad you liked it.
      Cheers!
      loreto

  • Reply Emily Leary October 10, 2018 at 2:16 am

    I’ve never put a halloumi in a stir fry! This looks amazing. Definitely going to try this. That sauce is making my mouth water.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 10, 2018 at 6:06 am

      So glad you like this dish! I would definately give this a try, the halloumi is perfect in texture and flavor, and it absorbs the accents of the dishso well. Have fun with this recipe!
      Cheers!
      loreto

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