Summer is finally here! And that means its time to fuel my body with nutritious salads and smoothies (okay, maybe there's room for a few brownies too!). One salad I'm loving at the moment is this vegan tofu 'halloumi' salad.
Yes, you read that correctly: VEGAN HALLOUMI !!
What is halloumi?
Halloumi is a dense and salty cheese often used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is cooked in a frying pan, where it takes on a beautiful golden hue and rich salty flavour. Halloumi has a chewy, almost rubbery texture and tastes wonderful in salads, wraps and buddha bowls!
Naturally, I had to make a vegan version of halloumi, and I'm so excited to share this recipe with you!
How to make vegan tofu halloumi:
Making your own vegan alternative to halloumi at home couldn't be easier. To substitute the dense and chewy texture of halloumi, we're using firm tofu. Silken tofu is far to wet for this recipe - you'll want to use the firmest tofu you can find.
It's also a good idea to press your tofu to make it even firmer. If you are in a pinch, you can skip this step, but it's worth it for the texture. The easiest way to press tofu is to place the tofu block on a chopping board, put a plate on top, and then a heavy can or book atop the plate. Leave this for about 30 minutes until firm.
To transform your bland (but firm!) block of tofu into faux-halloumi, we are going to marinate it in oil, lime juice, nutritional yeast and salt. Simples! Then we'll simply fry the halloumi until crisp.
Ingredients for the perfect summer salad:
I love serving this vegan halloumi alongside my favourite vegetables in a vibrant salad. This salad features spinach, sugar snap peas, purple sprouting broccoli and pomegranate, but feel free to use whatever veggies you prefer or have on hand!
Psst - if you like simple salads like me, you'll love my greek salad with kale!
I also serve this salad with a quick tahini dressing! You can find the instructions in the recipe card below.
You can buy tofu in most supermarkets in the plant-based refrigerated section. Alternatively, you can make a visit to your local Asian supermarket, where the tofu is often a lot cheaper!
Yes! Simply prepare all the ingredients and refrigerate until needed. Ensure you store the salad and dressing separately and add the dressing at the last minute before serving.
I highly recommend adding nutritional yeast as it adds a cheesy flavour. You can purchase nutritional yeast online or in most health food stores.
Notes on this recipe
- Leftovers, if there are any, can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoyed the next day.
- If you are prepping the salad ahead of time, keep the dressing in a separate container and drizzle it on just before serving to keep the vegetables crisp.
More tofu recipes:
Vegan Tofu 'Halloumi' Salad
For the vegan halloumi:
- ½ Lime juiced
- 2 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Sunflower Oil
- 200g/ 7 oz Firm Tofu
For the salad:
- 100g/ 3.5 oz Purple Sprouting Broccoli
- 2 handfuls Sugar Snap Peas
- 1 Pomegranate seeded
- 2 handfuls Spinach
For the tahini dressing:
- 1 tablespoon Tahini
- ¼ Lime juiced
- 1 tablespoon Water add more/less depending on desired consistency
- Prepare the halloumi marinade by mixing together the lime juice, nutritional yeast, salt and sunflower oil in a shallow bowl.
- Slice the tofu into 0.5 cm thick slices. You should get 8-10 pieces from 200 grams of tofu.
- Dip the tofu slices in the marinade and cook in a dry frying pan over medium low heat until golden on both sides (you will not need any oil as the marinade contains oil already).
- Meanwhile, divide the spinach between two serving bowls. Halve the sugar snap peas and divide them between the bowls.
- Trim the woody ends off the broccoli and steam in a small pan with 1-2 cm water with the lid on until vibrant green. Rinse under cold water to stop the broccoli cooking.
- Add the broccoli to the salad bowls, along with the pomegranate seeds and tofu halloumi.
- Prepare the tahini salad dressing by mixing together the tahini and lime juice in a small bowl. Gradually add water until the dressing has reached your desired consistency. Serve atop the salad!
- For a firmer 'halloumi', press the tofu between two plates with a book on top for about 30 minutes, to remove excess water.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoyed the next day.
- If you are prepping this salad ahead, store the dressing in a separate container to the salad, to keep the vegetables crisp. Simply drizzle on the dressing before serving!
- Feel free to swap the veggies for whatever you prefer/ have on hand.