I first had nopales (cactus pads) in a street taco years ago and have been hooked ever since! They have a chewy texture with a light, tart flavor. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a grocery that sells them de-thorned and ready to use, then the steps below describe how to prepare them. I love them plain (sauteed or grilled), but they also make a great addition to tacos and salsa.
Ingredientscactus pads (nopales)
1. CAUTION: the cactus pads are VERY thorny, so please be careful (see picture on the left)! Wear gloves if you feel uncomfortable with the prickly thorns.
2. Use a knife to carefully cut off the thorns (I work against the grain by starting a the broad flat end and cutting towards the thick base). Throw the thorny parts away.
3. Once all the dark eyes are gone, take a sharp knife and trim all the way around the cactus pad (see picture on the right). You’re now ready to cook it!