Curry-Glazed Halloumi Lettuce Cups

The sticky, sweet-savory flavors of this glaze are inspired by the peachy barbecue sauces that I often slather on grilled chicken thighs each summer. Peach or apricot jam acts as the perfect base for Homiah’s deeply savory and aromatic red curry paste. The naturally sweet-tart flavor of stone fruits enhances the natural sweetness of ingredients like lemongrass, ginger, and chilies, while adding balance to the savory base of onion, garlic, and spices. The final effect tiptoes near the flavor of a barbecue sauce, without losing the character of the curry paste. While red curry is recommended, this recipe will also work with Homiah's rendang paste which will result in a stronger, smokier flavor. 

Salty, firm halloumi is a terrific carrier for the savory-sweet glaze, but you could also use tofu to make this recipe vegan. If your lettuce leaves are on the smaller size, cut your slices of halloumi smaller too, so that they will nestle in nicely. Or, skip the lettuce cups altogether and serve the halloumi and slaw on a bed of chopped greens or as a grain bowl.

- Recipe by Julia Rackow

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Red Curry Glazed Halloumi Lettuce Cups

SERVES TIME
4 35 mins

INGREDIENTS

For the Curry Glazed Halloumi (or Tofu):

  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp Homiah Red Curry paste or Rendang paste
  • 8 oz. (225g) halloumi (or substitute with firm tofu), sliced about ¼-inch thick
  • Neutral oil, for searing

For the Purple Cabbage Slaw:

  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice, plus wedges to serve
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ small purple cabbage, finely shredded (about 2 cups)

To Serve:

  • 1 head butter lettuce or green leaf lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and patted very dry
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

METHOD

  1. Make the slaw: In a medium bowl, combine the shallot, bell pepper, jalapeño (if using), lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well to coat the vegetables with the juice, then set aside to allow the shallot to mellow, about 10 minutes. Mix in the cabbage then taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lime juice. Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the apricot jam, Homiah curry paste, and 2 tablespoons water. In a large nonstick skillet over medium, preheat a drizzle of oil until shimmering. Working in batches if necessary, add the sliced halloumi (or tofu if substituting) to the skillet in an even layer. Sear until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and repeat on the second side. If working in batches, transfer the seared halloumi to a plate and repeat with the remaining halloumi pieces.
  3. Return all the seared halloumi to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then pour the apricot mixture over the halloumi. Bring to a simmer and cook, gently stirring and flipping the halloumi, until the glaze has thickened and coats the cheese, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately or keep warm in the skillet over the lowest heat setting.
  4. To Serve: Top whole leaves of lettuce with the cabbage slaw and a piece of warm glazed halloumi. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
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