Marinated halloumi takes the place of fish in this oven baked vegetarian interpretation of an English pub classic.
One of my very favourite things about a trip to London is the pub food. There are always plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, and the veggie pies are always a highlight (I have grand plans for a series of pies once the weather cools down) but this meal is my recreation of one we had in a Paddington pub last month – my eyes lit up when I saw the words “veggie fish and chips” and I was not disappointed. It’s not “fishy” – it’s lemony and garlicky and salty and fresh. It has become quite a favourite round here, as it’s quick and easy as well as being utterly scrumptious. Comfort food heaven.
Marinating: up to 8 hours
Preparation: 10 minutes
Baking: 15 minutes
Note: for an egg-free version, use a cornstarch slurry in place of the flour and beaten egg
4 pieces of halloumi, about 200g (7oz) per person
2 Tbsp olive oil + extra for baking
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 – 2 garlic cloves, crushed or grated with a microplane
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs, such as panko
thick cut chips (fries)
Arrange the halloumi in a single layer in a dish.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and marjoram, then spoon the marinade over the halloumi. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate at room temperature, flipping over the cheese every hour or so. I do this part in the morning then finish off in the evening.
Lightly oil a baking sheet and preheat oven to 210°C / 410°F / Gas Mark 6 1/2.
Arrange the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in three dishes. Take a piece of halloumi and dredge it in flour, then dip in beaten egg, then coat with breadcrumbs and put it on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of halloumi. Spritz the halloumi with olive oil.
Bake for 10 minutes, then carefully flip the halloumi over and bake for another 5 minutes, until crisp and browned on both sides.
Serve hot with chips (fries) and lemon wedges.