Yeah I was hoping this would happen. After Sunday’s marathon answering some vegan recipe questions for Guac’s first AMA, I just had to pick up some tofu and try out the vegan halloumi recipe I found over on One Arab Vegan’s site. It looked soooo good so I figured I’d give it a go over lunch today.
As I was slicing up the firm tofu I got to thinking about how fond of it I am now. You can do almost anything with a bit of bean curd, depending on how you treat it. And considering the fuss people make over snazzier/ gimmicky meat replacements, tofu is kind of the unsung hero.
When you know which brands work best for which texture, and some recipes you can turn to again and again, you’ve basically always got a way of making salads, pies, stews, chocolate mousses, cheesecakes, everything! You just need to give it a little time, and not expect it to perform miracles if you’re not going to drain it properly, marinade it properly or just treat it with a bit of patience. As I’ve said before, when people turn their noses up at tofu, all it tells me is they haven’t been cooked it properly before. If you flung a raw egg in something and thought it was going to be reyt nice your tastebuds would be offended too. So don’t give me ‘tofu is tasteless’
Here’s a recipe for the future tofu converts. No, it’s not perfect halloumi, but it has that crispy outside, soft, creamy inside, salty, smoky, taste of summer about it, and it matches perfectly with the foods halloumi also sits well with. This is going to be so great on BBQs and as the meat replacement for big summer salads- I think I’m in love tbh.
I’ve based this recipe on One Arab Vegan’s but I have veered off a fair bit too- here’s my go at vegan halloumi - I served it with couscous, tomatoes, salad, garlic chives, lemon zest and, of course, a shit load of olive oil.
Juice 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
200g of firm tofu per person- I used a pack of Cauldron tofu, but try to go firmer if you can- Holland & Barrett’s chilled tofu is also really firm
1. Pour the olive oil, balsamic, basil, lemon, salt and pepper into a dish and whisk until combined. Gently place in the slices of tofu and baste from the remaining marinade to make sure the slices are well covered in olive oil and vinegar.
2. Leave for as long as you can- at least 2 or 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
3. Heat up a waffle grill or sandwich toastie machine - or a griddle pan if you don’t have either. Pour in a little of the marinade, then gently lay over the slices of tofu. Sear for a few minutes- if using a griddle pan, turn half way through. You’re looking for the outside of the tofu to crisp up, without it sticking to the pan.
4. Once it’s started to crisp, remove from the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes on a chopping board of plate- it will continue to crisp up as it cools.
5. Serve with couscous, roasted vegetables and anything else you fancy!