Halloumi is everyone’s favourite grilled cheese and its a taste sensation when fried. Deliciously crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. For these reasons, this Cypriot cheese has taken Australia (and the world) by storm over the past several years. But wait a minute, can you eat halloumi raw? And if so, is it any good? Many people have never tried halloumi that way. That might be because you’re not sure whether it’s even okay to eat uncooked. Relax, we can verify that yes, halloumi is okay to eat uncooked.
Yes, you can eat halloumi raw, and here’s how
Now, we’re not trying to tell you that raw halloumi is better than fried in every circumstance. There are many, many recipes in which halloumi is much better fried. Golden-delicious grilled or fried halloumi creates a texture and flavour which pairs so well with both cooked and raw vegetables, meats, in burgers, wraps or for breakfast. There are so many other ideas for using halloumi. You should totally check out our Olympus Halloumi page for ideas.
If you can restrain yourself from cooking it, here are 3 ways you might like to try raw halloumi, which brings out the best in it.
1. With watermelon
Cyprus has a range of amazing ways to use cooked halloumi. But, one of the most popular ways to eat this fresh cheese throughout Cyprus is when it is served raw and simply sliced or cubed with luscious watermelon in the summer and even some fresh mint. Absolutely heavenly juicy, salty goodness!
Why this works
Watermelon is juicy and sweet. It is just the right texture to bring out the creaminess of halloumi while being the perfect balance to the salt. Try this one when watermelon is in season so that it’s nice and sweet. Also, make sure your halloumi is a pure cheese with no nasty additives. There’s nowhere to hide here! You may also like to try a reduced salt variety, like our Olympus Halloumi (which is also minted).
2. In a simple, sweet salad
When you open halloumi, cut a piece, taste it. See what you would love to pair it with. For a simple salad, we would suggest a sweeter combination. It would be lovely cubed small into a strawberry and spinach salad. Or paired with peppery rocket, fennel, some orange segments and a sweet and tangy orange vinaigrette. You’re looking to not go too overboard here, and to find the perfect balance to the salty flavour. That’s why fruit often works so well.
3. Grated over pasta
Grated halloumi is used in so many dishes. It’s delicious when grated into halved capsicums or a big mushroom and roasted in the oven. But it doesn’t always have to be cooked afterwards.Try grating uncooked halloumi over your pasta dish. This method goes beautifully with any lemony pasta recipes, which is another perfect flavour combination for halloumi. We are in love with this Halloumi Pasta with Lemon and Mint recipe from Great British Chefs. A recipe which is so simple and yet oh-so-tasty!
Food safety tip
Halloumi is a very fresh cheese, and like most fresh cheeses, is best eaten immediately. Olympus Halloumi also has no artificial additives. When eating halloumi raw, keep it chilled until just before serving.
More halloumi ideas
If you love halloumi, you will love this free printable bundle of our favourite halloumi recipes. Our recipes are super easy, and always taste tested by us first!