Saganaki (Σαγανάκι) is any one of a variety of dishes prepared in a small frying pan called a ‘saganaki’.
By far, the most beloved dish and the one that epitomises Greek cuisine is the Saganaki cheese. This is a simple dish consisting of battered cheese, most commonly Kefalograviera. You won’t find a Greek tavern without Saganaki on their menu.
Alternatively, if you cannot find kefalograviera, other options of cheese are graviera, halloumi, kasseri or feta.
Adding a shot of ouzo at the end of the frying process (flaming saganaki) and seeing the flame shoot up makes anyone shout “OPA”. In describing saganaki there are no words to express how oozing, crunchy and tasty is.
Follow the uncomplicated recipe below for a dish that will have you saying, ‘Saganaki, s’agapo” (Saganaki I love you).
Ingredients for saganaki
- 2 slices of kefalograviera
- cold water
- all-purpose flour for preparation
- olive oil for frying
- ½ shot of ouzo (optional flaming saganaki)
- 2 – 3 lemon wedges
Instructions for saganaki
- Cut kefalograviera cheese approx. 2cm thick.
- Apply cold water to kefalograviera cheese, covering all of the cheese.
- Dip wet kefalograviera cheese in all-purpose flour, covering all cheese really well and shaking off any excess flour.
- Set cheese aside.
- Add a good amount of olive oil into a shallow frying pan (medium heat).
- Once the olive oil begins to sizzle, add the kefalograviera cheese and allow it to brown (approx. 2 minutes on each side).
- Add ½ shot of ouzo for flame effect (optional flaming saganaki).
- Set aside on a paper towel to soak excess olive oil.
- Squeeze lemon over hot kefalograviera cheese and serve.
An alternative to lemon, add honey and sesame seeds.