These Southern Fried Halloumi Fries are ultra crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside and BURSTING with flavour all over!
This recipe is where two of the best worlds collide. Halloumi fries + fried chicken = heaven. Ready to make the best halloumi fries in the world? Follow me…
Typically to make halloumi fries you’d just slice up halloumi and either pan fry it or deep/shallow fry it. Some recipes lightly dredge it in flour for a little extra crispiness, but that’s usually where it ends.
For me these options leave the fries a little lacklustre. I mean, if you’re going to go out your way to deep fry them, you may as well go all out. Hence why I treat my halloumi fries exactly how I treat my chicken.
All good fried chicken starts with a buttermilk marinade, and these halloumi fries are no different. Whilst the marinade doesn’t tenderize the halloumi as it would chicken, it’s still a good opportunity to wrap the halloumi in flavour. Plus, buttermilk has the perfect consistency for dredging through flour to build up a nice thick crust.
How long to marinate for?
Because this step isn’t so much about changing the texture of the halloumi, marinating time is somewhat optional. I usually marinate for 30mins – 2 hours. But even just as you prep the other ingredients will be fine.
Process shots: pat halloumi dry (photo 1), slice into fries (photo 2), pour buttermilk into bowl (photo 3), whisk in spices (photo 4), add halloumi fries (photo 5), mix to coat (photo 6).
Extra Crispy Halloumi Fries
Here’s the important part – the halloumi coating. You want to build up an ultra crispy crust to counteract the soft, squidgy halloumi. Here’s 3 tips to help build the crispy crust:
- Baking Powder – Adding baking powder into the flour causes a reaction in the oil to produce lots of tiny bubbles. In turn this helps create an airy batter. The more airy the batter, the crispier it is.
- Add Marinade – A sneaky tip is pouring a couple of tbsp of the marinade in the flour BEFORE you coat the fries. By rubbing the marinade into the flour you create lots of tiny little flakes. The more of these flakes that attach themselves to the fries the crispier they’ll be.
- One by one – Don’t tip all the fries into the flour at once, this will cause them to go sludgy. Coat them one by one and really try and work in as much of the flour as possible.
Process shots: add flour to shallow dish (photo 1), stir in spices and baking powder (photo 2), rub in some of the marinade (photo 3), one by one coat the fries (photo 4).
Deep Fried Halloumi
Can you bake the fries and still get them to come out crispy? In my experience – no. It’s gotta be deep frying all the way.
The great thing about this recipe though is it’s great for beginners, in as much that you don’t run any risk of undercooked chicken. You’ll want to deep fry in batches, but if you’re not confident just start with one halloumi fry. The fries are done when the halloumi is nice and soft and the batter is deep golden and visibly crispy.
Serving Halloumi Fries
I usually sprinkle over a pinch of salt, just to bring out the spices in the batter, but also to draw out the final bit of moisture from the batter. Halloumi is quite salty so I only season the marinade/flour lightly with salt, then just adjust at the end.
I tend to serve these as you would fried chicken wings. Usually as they are with a dip (here I use chipotle mayo), but they also go great as a side to a sandwich! Usually with my Fried Chicken Sandwich (or Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich), mainly because I’ve already got the deep fat fryer out and ready!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these halloumi fries shall we?!
How to make Halloumi Fries (Full Recipe & Video)
Southern Fried Halloumi Fries
- Large Mixing Bowl (for marinade)
- Large Shallow Bowl (for dredging)
- Pot & Slotted Spoon (for deep frying)
- Kitchen Thermometer
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Wire Rack & Paper Towels or Tray
- 1 1/4 cups / 300ml Buttermilk (see notes)
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, White Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2x 9oz / 250g blocks of Halloumi, sliced into wedges around 1/2" thick
- 1 1/2 cups / 225g Plain / All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp EACH: Oregano, Baking Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt plus more salt to serve (optional)
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp EACH: Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 4 cups/1litre Vegetable Oil, or as needed for deep frying
- In a large mixing bowl combine buttermilk, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and white pepper. Mix in halloumi wedges and leave to marinate as you prep the next step. I like to leave mine for 30mins+ to soak in the flavour, so do that if you have time.
- In a large shallow dish whisk together flour, paprika, baking powder, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Scoop out 2 tbsp of the marinade and stir into the flour until lots of little lumps form. This will give you those flaky/crunchy parts.
- One by one dunk the halloumi wedges into the flour and use your hands to fully coat them. Try to press the flour into the halloumi and use the excess buttermilk to form those flaky bits. That's what will give you the crunch. Place on a wire rack to one side and repeat with remaining halloumi wedges.
- Heat up enough oil to comfortably cover a batch of fries to around 180C/350F. In batches of 2-3 deep fry the halloumi until deep golden and visibly crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack with paper towels or a tray underneath to catch excess oil. The heat will drop slightly but just maintain it as best you can, bringing it back up to 180C/350F before each batch.
- Sprinkle with salt (optional) then serve up with your favourite dip!
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