not really haloumi, but so good

not really haloumi, but so good

One of the cheeses I miss is haloumi, that dense, fried, salty, cheese hit eaten with lemon.

I need to state up front that I am not a huge fan of nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute. I know people say that it tastes like cheese, but really, for me, it tastes like yeast that’s reminiscent of cheese. So I approached this recipe with some skepticism. No it isn’t exactly haloumi, but yes it is good.

It is made from frozen tofu, that is thawed, pressed and marinated before frying. I found the recipe at Cooking with Plants. I’ve tweaked it a bit to use less nutritional yeast, but otherwise it is the same.

The texture is reminiscent of haloumi, chewy and dense, but without the squeak (lovers of haloumi will know what I mean). The flavour, though very yummy, is not exactly like haloumi, but it does pack a great salty, crispy, chewy punch which fits the bill nicely in a salad.

I ate mine with a green salad with some fresh tomatoes from the garden. I also ate the remainder on sandwiches over the next few days. It makes a good burger, with its firm texture, so I think I’ll experiment with the thickness and some other flavourings as well next time.


vegan haloumi
prep time
cook time
total time
recipe type: cheese
cuisine: vegan
serves: 4
  • 1 350 gram block of firm tofu
  • ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 tbs oil for frying (I used olive oil)
  1. Freeze the tofu overnight then thaw it the next day. This freezing process changes the texture of the tofu, making it chewier.
  2. Press the water out of the tofu by placing it on a tea towel with a chopping board on top. Place a heavy weight on top of the board. (I used my mortar which weighs a ton!)
  3. Slice the tofu into ½ cm slices.
  4. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl except the oil and water. Add enough of the water to make a paste.
  5. Brush the paste on both sides of the tofu slices and leave to marinate for a few hours (if you can wait)
  6. Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the slices over medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side. They will crisp up.



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