Cheese saganaki is a traditional Greek meze that is quick and easy!
If you have never had cheese saganaki…we’re sorry. But, we’re also really happy that you are reading this, because now, you’ll be able to make this easy, fantastic cheese appetizer for yourself, and anyone else you want to be really nice to.
Our parents have made this fried cheese meze many ways over the years, and each method was quite delicious…because, fried cheese! But, the winner method and recipe actually comes from Akis Petretzikis (sorry Ma and Ba). If you love Greek food, you have most certainly heard of this young, hip, tattooed Greek chef. He is very
handsome popular! In fact, his website, Akis Kitchen was recently voted Number 1 of the Top 40 Greek Food Blogs. Another fun fact, Mia Kouppa, (just a few months after we posted our first recipe), was voted NUMBER 9 on that same list! What!!??? We know….crazy!!! And wonderful!!
As we mentioned, we have adapted this saganaki recipe from the one posted by Akis Petretzikis. We’ve changed the original recipe a little bit by adding a small amount of plain breadcrumbs to the flour mixture. Our parents always use breadcrumbs when they make cheese saganaki, as they find it give an extra bit of crunch. We think they’re right.
Many saganaki recipes (including Akis’) will refer to several cheeses that you can use, but we have only made saganaki with kefalotiri or kafalograviera. Both of these Greek cheeses are made of sheep or goat milk. Kefalotiri tends to be a bit saltier and harder than kefalograviera. Most well stocked Greek markets will have at least one of these cheeses available.
When you buy your cheese, purchase a piece which can be cut into rectangles which will be about 1/2 inch thick, about 4 inches long and two inches wide, if possible.
Saganaki should be served and enjoyed immediately after it is cooked. We love to serve it with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and a bit of ouzo on the side.
If you’re looking for more traditional Greek mezedes, try these!
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- large bowls
- Frying pan
- 4-6 pieces Kefalotiri or kefalograviera cut into 1/2 thick pieces, each about 4 inches long, and 2 inches wide (approx)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tbsp plain breadcrumbs
- olive oil for frying
- lemon wedges, to serve
- Find two bowls whose dimensions are larger than the pieces of cheese. In one, mix together the flour, sugar and breadcrumbs. Fill the second bowl with ice water.1 cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tbsp plain breadcrumbs
- Pour enough olive oil into a frying pan so that it is 1/2 inch deep. Heat over medium heat.
- Taking one piece of cheese at a time, dunk it into the ice water and then coat it with the flour mixture. Dunk back in water, then back in flour. Finally, dunk quickly in the water for the third and last time.
- Immediately place your cheese into the preheated frying pan.
- Repeat with the other pieces of cheese, and fry as many as you can at the same time, without overcrowding the pan.
- Fry each side for about 3 – 4 minutes until golden brown. Flip over carefully and fry on the other side.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges.