If you slice up a block of halloumi then you’ll probably, instinctively throw it into a frying pan or onto a griddle pan to quick get it charred and golden on the outside before it’s ready to enjoy. But is there another way to cook it? Can you microwave halloumi instead?
To microwave halloumi, slice it as you normally would and then place a couple of slices onto a microwaveable plate. Blast for 30 seconds, check and repeat if it needs further cooking.
How to Microwave Halloumi
If you don’t mind your halloumi not having the crust it develops when cooked in the oven or in a pan then you can cook it in the microwave and here is how:
Take your halloumi out of the fridge and slice it. Try not to slice it too thin as the halloumi will break apart. Instead, opt for half-inch thick slices.
- Place Onto a Plate
Pop a couple of slices onto a microwaveable plate. Make sure the halloumi slices are not touching each other and avoid overcrowding the plate which can impact how well they cook through.
Put this into the microwave and heat for about thirty to forty seconds. Always use short bursts to prevent overcooking it.
- Check Doneness
This should be enough to cook the halloumi but if you feel it needs a little longer you can pop it back in at ten-second increments.
It’s worth noting that, visually, it can be quite hard to tell if the halloumi has been warmed through enough as it won’t colour in the microwave. Instead, you’ll need to go solely off texture – just be careful as it will be super hot!
How to Microwave Halloumi Successfully
Although microwaving halloumi is not the best approach to take to cook it, if you do opt for this approach then there are a few tips to take on board to have more success:
- Finish in a Pan – If you really want the speed of microwaving the halloumi but still want it to develop that delicious golden brown skin then you could finish them off by popping them into a frying pan. Grease the pan with a little spray oil and pop the cooked halloumi in.
- Be Prepared for Heat – Be careful when you take the halloumi out of the microwave. It can get very hot! It is one of those foods that may not look hot but when you bite into it it is a little like molten lava.
- Season with Lemon Juice – If you want to add a little flavour to your halloumi. Squeeze a little lemon juice over it once it has cooked. The lemon works really well with the salty cheese. You can also use other herbs and spices such as sumac, oregano or simply black pepper.
- Use in Dishes – Avoid eating microwaved halloumi on its own. Instead, use it in a burger, a wrap or a salad where the lack of flavour will be masked by the other ingredients you’re using.
Why You Should Microwave Halloumi
Although we’ve been quite negative about using the microwave with halloumi, there are some obvious benefits to doing so:
There are not too many advantages to cooking halloumi in the microwave other than the speed.
Most cooks would recommend you choose another method because the halloumi tastes much better this way. However, it can’t be argued that it is very quick if you need your meal in a hurry.
It is very easy to microwave it. You can slice, pop it into the microwave then season and be eating it within a minute or two! There is very little fuss and hardly any mess either.
There is no charred halloumi to chisel off a griddle pan, no fat spitting up at the tiles, no smell of burning halloumi. It’s clean and it’s simple.
Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Halloumi
Unfortunately, these disadvantages aren’t minor and they are worth bearing in mind before you do choose to nuke halloumi:
One of the best things about eating halloumi that has been griddled is those golden brown char marks. Those simple marks give halloumi texture and flavour. Microwaving will not give you any char marks at all, understandably.
Easy to Overcook
It is very easy to get it wrong when trying to cook halloumi in the microwave. It takes such a short time to cook that only a few seconds extra is enough to ruin the cheese completely.
Because it won’t gradually brown in the microwave, it can actually be tough to tell just how much you have cooked it through.
Microwaving Halloumi FAQs
We’ve covered how to microwave halloumi as well as why you should (and shouldn’t) bother. But there might be some more specific questions you have which we’ve answered below:
We wouldn’t recommend that you reheat halloumi in the microwave. In theory, you could by popping it in for a few seconds and then flipping it over and heating it for another few seconds. It isn’t likely to taste great and you’ll have some major textural issues.
No, we would not recommend defrosting halloumi in the microwave. You need to allow the cheese to thaw out slowly and try not to rush it. Even though halloumi is one of the cheeses that are easier to freeze, it can still go wrong. So, to defrost it out pop it into the fridge and let it thaw overnight or for several hours until it is defrosted completely.
Not a lot… And that’s the problem. Halloumi will soften in the microwave, as it would when cooked in a pan, but it won’t develop a deep, brown crust or any texture.
It is perfectly safe to put halloumi in the microwave. The problem isn’t with safety, it is with texture. When you microwave it, you’ll find there’s a lack of flavour.