These sesame halloumi fries are a grown-up Middle Eastern variation on classic fried mozzarella sticks. They’re made with halloumi cheese that’s coated in spiced flour, fried until golden, and served with Aleppo-hot honey dipping sauce. Yes, they’re every bit as delicious as they sound.
Adapted from Farrah Jalanbo | The Quick and Easy Spiced Nice Cookbook | Page Street Publishing, 2022
Crispy sesame halloumi fries dipped in an Aleppo pepper–hot honey sauce…this is what dreams are made of. I could go on and on about all the things I love about this fried halloumi: the crispiness from the sesame seeds, the saltiness of the cheese paired with the slightly spicy and sweet honey, etc., etc., etc.!–Farrah Jalanbo
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Halloumi Fries FAQs
What is halloumi?
Halloumi is cheese! It originated in Cyprus and is typically made from goat or sheep’s milk (or a combination of the two), although cow’s milk varieties are also available. It’s mellow, but a little tangy. It has a very high melting point and the texture of cheese curds, making it the perfect choice for pan searing, grilling, or frying.
What should I serve with Halloumi fries?
If you’re looking for just a snack, they’re great on their own. But they’re also wonderful as part of an appetizer buffet, served with dipping sauces like tzatziki, muhammara, marinara, ranch, or labneh with za’atar and fresh naan. We also like them paired with a nice Greek salad or a big bowl of homemade tomato soup.
Can I make these in the air fryer?
Yes, you can. Our testers had success air frying these halloumi sticks at 375°F (190°C) for 12 minutes, turning halfway through.
Can I make these ahead of time?
We don’t recommend it. These are best served immediately after frying, while the coating is crispy and the cheese is soft.
Sesame Halloumi Fries
These crispy halloumi cheese fries are a Middle Eastern-inspired riff on mozza sticks. They’re an easy-to-make vegetarian finger food that’s perfect for sharing.
For the hot honey dipping sauce
Make the hot honey dipping sauce
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the honey, chile peppers, and Aleppo pepper flakes, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. (The longer it simmers, the spicier it’ll be, so the simmer time is up to you!)
Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the honey into a bowl and use it as a dipping sauce for the halloumi wedges. The hot honey will thicken as it cools.
Make the fried halloumi
Cut each block of the halloumi into eight wedges and pat dry. (If your halloumi came in a brine, it may be too salty, so soaking in cold water for at least 30 minutes, or longer if needed, will help.)
In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour, sesame seeds, sumac, za’atar, oregano, pepper, and smoked paprika. Evenly coat each wedge of halloumi in the flour mixture.
In a shallow frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the oil until very hot. Fry the wedges on all sides until golden, 4 to 8 minutes total.
Transfer the fried halloumi to a paper towel-lined plate and devour immediately.