I finally got back home from a month long vacation to Stockholm and London! I totally missed you guys, but I seriously had an amazing time. London has officially become my second favorite city (you know I gotta represent my hometown NYC). I’m already planning my next vacay with a must have pit stop in the UK.
Anyway, I stayed in Limehouse, an area in East London right next to Jack the Ripper’s old stomping grounds in Whitechapel. I’d never been to London before and I’ve heard horror stories about the food all my life, but when I arrived, I was absolutely famished and exhausted so I had to brave it. I dropped my bags at the air bnb, and walked right out the door to find something to eat. I was staying on Commercial Rd., a giant, super busy street, so I figured that I’d be able to at least find a grocery store. Limehouse is an up and coming neighborhood, so there weren’t as many restaurants as there are in areas like say Bloomsbury. Nevertheless, I stumbled upon this little cafe a few blocks from my place called Sylvia’s Corner that served all kinds of specialty coffee drinks and diner type food. Yes and yes! I was in the mood for a sandwich, so I scanned the menu looking for a veggie burger.
As a vegetarian, I’m always fully prepared to suffer through a soggy, poorly made portobello mushroom sandwich when I’m ordering at a restaurant. I was pretty surprised when I saw that Sylvia’s had a halloumi burger on the menu. Halloumi has been trending for quite some time now in the foodie world. If you don’t know what halloumi is you are truly missing out. Get this, it’s a kind of cheese made from goat’s and sheep milk, that doesn’t melt when you cook it. I know that sounds crazy because like who doesn’t appreciate the perfect gooey of melted cheese? Right?! But hear me out— the reason halloumi is so amazing is precisely because it doesn’t melt like regular cheese. It basically catapults itself into the position of being the very best thing to throw on to a grill or into a frying pan for your vegetarian friends. This halloumi burger at Sylvia’s was transcendent. I mean, I was pretty much full half way through the thing and still, not only did I just have to finish it all, but I seriously considered ordering another one to take home to the air bnb.
Fast forward: as soon as I cleared customs coming back to the States, I was on a mission to recreate those amazing halloumi burgers (yeah, burgers, plural) that I enjoyed at Sylvia’s. The good news is that you can find halloumi at a ton of stores. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and even Walmart carry it. The even better news is that halloumi is so easy to cook that you’ll be in sandwich heaven in no time. With Labor Day right around the corner, and the final days of perfect bbq and picnic weather fast approaching, drop everything—You must try this!!!
Halloumi Burgers with Sticky sriracha glaze
For the Burger
- about 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 5 mushroom, sliced
- 3 tbsp bread crumbs or semolina
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg
- 5oz (about half a pack) of Halloumi, cut into slices
- 2 brioche rolls
- Cup of lettuce or spinach leaves
- ½ red onion, peeled and sliced
For the Glaze
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1+1/2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- To make the sauce: Place all the sauce ingredients into your smallest saucepan and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Continue to stir, and cook for another 1-3 minutes until the sauce has reduced down to a runny syrup. Remove from heat allowing the glaze to thicken even more as it cools.
- Heat some oil in a skillet and fry your mushrooms. Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat.
- Place the bread crumbs or semolina on a small dish with the a little salt and pepper. Crack the egg into a small dish and whisk lightly with a fork. Dip the halloumi slices into the egg, then coat in the bread crumbs or semolina. Place in the pan and fry on a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- While the halloumi is frying, assemble your sandwich. Lightly toast the brioche rolls. Add the lettuce and mushroom slices to the rolls. Once the halloumi is cooked, place the slices on top of the mushrooms. Top with red onion (you can saute some with the mushrooms if you prefer) and then drizzle over a little (or a lot!) of the glaze. Enjoy!!!
***this is a variation of a recipe that first appeared on Craftberry Bush