Cheese isn’t found in Asian food too often, but I couldn’t resist making this sesame crusted halloumi. Of course, you could use tofu or something similar instead of the halloumi if the idea of Asian cheese freaks you out… but I have absolutely no idea why you would want to go for tofu instead of cheese. If any type of cheese freaks you out, I think you might be in the wrong place.
Actually, although it might seem like an unusual combination, the halloumi was unbelievable served alongside the crunchy Asian slaw and its slightly sweet dressing. Sweet and crunchy slaw vs salty, creamy cheese – proper swoon-worthy stuff.
Can we just talk about slaw for a second? The word ‘slaw’ is totally not a thing in the UK, and every time I type it I feel a little ridiculous. Slaw. It’s just odd.
But, I couldn’t bring myself to call this recipe ‘coleslaw’ because it’s completely not coleslaw – no mayonnaise, no cabbage, it’s not coleslaw. But I also was hardly going to call it ‘shredded raw vegetable salad’. So, slaw it is. Even if every time I say it, it sounds a bit like I’m in the middle of passing out.
This slaw would be great served on its own, if you’re not in a position to get a frying pan out for the halloumi. Picnics, BBQs, packed lunches – it would pack up really well, and only gets better with time. It’s also really easy to make – shred your vegetables, mix up your dressing, and mix them together. It’s pretty hard to muck it up.
You can shred your veg however you like – just cut them into thin strips with a knife, use your grater, or use a mandoline with julienne blades. My mandoline only cuts lowly slices (first world problems!), so I used that to cut the carrot into thin slices, and then cut them into sticks with a knife. It would have been much quicker to just grate it, but apparently I like torturing myself or something. Plus I like the slightly thicker sticks! Gives it more crunch.
Now: the halloumi. Think about it: sesame crusted halloumi. Halloumi cheese… crusted with sesame.
I just about died when I came up with this (and then actually did die when I tasted it and realised that it worked!). Fried halloumi is always my favourite thing in the world, but with all those toasted sesame seeds, the flavour and the crunch is just out of this world.
Literally all you do is roll your halloumi in sesame seeds, and ta-da: sesame crusted halloumi. I know it’s tricky, but try to stay with me.
There you go! Easy.
Sesame crusted halloumi with Asian slaw
For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 mild red chilli finely chopped
For the Asian slaw:
- 100 g beansprouts
- 1 medium carrot shredded
- 4 spring onions finely sliced
- 1/2 red pepper thinly sliced
- 1/2 green pepper thinly sliced
- Small bunch fresh coriander chopped
- 100 g cashew nuts coarsely chopped
For the sesame crusted halloumi:
- 450 g halloumi cheese cut into 12 slices
- 12 tbsp sesame seeds
- Mix up the dressing by combining the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil in a cup, and add the minced garlic and finely chopped chilli. Mix well, and set aside.
- Next, prepare the vegetables. Add the beansprouts to a large bowl along with the shredded carrot, sliced spring onions, peppers, fresh coriander and chopped cashews. Mix to combine.
- To make the sesame crusted halloumi, pour the sesame seeds onto a plate and press the halloumi slices into the seeds on both sides. Place the cheese into a dry frying pan, and cook over a low heat for around 5-10 minutes, until the underside is golden brown (it seemed to take a little longer to cook when crusted with the sesame seeds than halloumi would usually take on its own). Carefully turn each piece over, and repeat with the other side.
- Just before serving, add the dressing to the vegetables, and mix well. Serve alongside the sesame crusted halloumi.