Vegetarian Spice Bag Recipe

Chris Beausang
Dec 23, 2017 · 3 min read

Serves 2, roughly


250g halloumi, cut into roughly thumb sized rectangles

250g Maris Piper potatoes, skin on, cut into thin chips

100g green beans

100g mangetout

1 onion, diced

100 ml apple cider vinegar

100 ml dark soy sauce

100 ml honey

4 star anise

2 tsp cinnamon power

1 piece of fresh ginger, thumb-sized

5 garlic cloves

juice of 1 lemon

5 beaten eggs

100g of flour

100g of oats

Cumin seeds


Cayenne Chili Powder

Fennel Seeds

Caster sugar

Sunflower oil

salt (some regular, some of that coarse unground stuff too)


1/2 tsp dried chilli powder

4 red chillies, finely sliced

2 red peppers and 2 green peppers, cut vertically into thin strips

1 banana shallot, cut vertically into thin strips (if your local doesn’t have one of these, i’m informed you can approximate the flavour profile with a small onion and a few cloves of garlic)

1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder (if your local doesn’t have this, you can do one up by grinding and mixing together one teaspoon of cinnamon, one teaspoon of cloves, one star anize, one teaspoon of (toasted) szechuan peppercorns and one teaspoon of (toasted) fennel seeds


Start by making the batter for the halloumi. Mix together the oats and flour, add a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of paprika and two teaspoons of caster sugar.

Put a pan onto high heat and toast a spoonfull of fennel seeds and a spoonful of cumin seeds for about a minute or two, until they start releasing their aromas and before they get too brown. Grind these up and put them with the flour and oats, adding a dash or two more of paprika or cayenne or both, depending on how spicy you want the batter to be.

Whisk the 5 eggs together. We use this to dip the halloumi strips into before covering them in the batter to be sure it adheres. It’s best to dip it in egg, cover it in oats then dip and batter again to get as much batter as possible on each strip. If you run out of batter, just make more. Once this is all done, set them aside and refrigerate for a few hours if possible.

Fry the chips in a deep-fat fryer or just in a pan with enough oil that a good few can be totally submerged at once. Probably safer to do it in batches, mind not to burn yourself. Once they’re finished drain them on plates covered in kitchen paper.

Next deep fry the halloumi. Add the lemon juice and 2 ground star anise to a pan on high heat, then add as much oil as you need to get all of the halloumi at least half-submerged. Turn them over after three minutes or once the batter is nicely browned on the outside. Once they’re finished drain them on plates covered in kitchen paper.

Combine the peppers, banana shallot, two tablespoons of coarse sea salt, one teaspoon of pepper, the chinese five-spice powder, chilli powder and red chillies. Put these in a pan with the apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, honey, 2 ground star anise and cinnamon on medium to high heat. Grate in the ginger and garlic cloves, then add the green beans, mangetout and onions and cook for 10–12 minutes or until the veg is tender. Stir well while cooking.

Throw in the chips and halloumi and mix until everything’s hot then serve.

Written by

prose’d for gorse, 404INK, The Bohemyth and Honest Ulsterman // phd’er in quantitative literary stylistics

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