Nopales

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    Jan 15, 2013 5:10 AM GMT
    2365560166_996dc8f146.jpg


    I've long been fascinated by these little guys and have grown curious enough to try cooking with them. Unfortunately my mom never made anything with nopales (mind you, she always preferred making Japanese and Spanish food); I always got the impression she thought canned nopales were too weird for her taste. Or maybe she thought I wouldn't like them. Who knows?

    Anyway, I just did a quick search "recetas con nopales," which turned up some interesting ideas worth considering.

    Any Mexicanitos or fans of Mexican food who'd like to share their nopales treats?


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    Jan 15, 2013 7:41 AM GMT
    I remember picking them and cleaning off the stickers with my grandparents as kids. I might have had them with eggs a couple of times but it isn't my favorite. I'm always scared someone missed a spina and I'm going to get my tongue stuck like my hands would get. And trust me... those stickers are a bitch to get out!
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    Jan 15, 2013 7:43 AM GMT
    I had them occasionally but never made them myself. They're ok, nothing spectacular.
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    Jan 15, 2013 7:44 AM GMT
    Ryan_Andrew saidI remember picking them and cleaning off the stickers with my grandparents as kids. I might have had them with eggs a couple of times but it isn't my favorite. I'm always scared someone missed a spina and I'm going to get my tongue stuck like my hands would get. And trust me... those stickers are a bitch to get out!


    I don't doubt that!

    Fortunately all the nopales sold at my favorite Latino food market are picked clean.
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    Jan 15, 2013 7:45 AM GMT
    Narciso saidI had them occasionally but never made them myself. They're ok, nothing spectacular.


    I just want to see what the big fuss is all about because I'm not curious enough to venture towards chapulines.
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    Jan 15, 2013 7:48 AM GMT
    nicodegallo said
    Ryan_Andrew saidI remember picking them and cleaning off the stickers with my grandparents as kids. I might have had them with eggs a couple of times but it isn't my favorite. I'm always scared someone missed a spina and I'm going to get my tongue stuck like my hands would get. And trust me... those stickers are a bitch to get out!


    I don't doubt that!

    Fortunately all the nopales sold at my favorite Latino food market are picked clean.


    Meh nah man... those taste worse! It's better to have them fresh. My grandma would home can them... not sure how I was like 8 when she did that... but I remember the fresher they were the better. Maybe it was the tortillas too... fml, now I want mexican food. I've been craving homemade tacos for a while now!
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    Jan 15, 2013 7:50 AM GMT
    Good luck trying to find a wild cactus of any kind in Virginia, lol. Nopales here come in a bag or with leaves in a barrel.
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    Jan 15, 2013 7:58 AM GMT
    nicodegallo saidGood luck trying to find a wild cactus of any kind in Virginia, lol. Nopales here come in a bag or with leaves in a barrel.

    true that... I forget I live in Texas.
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    Jan 15, 2013 7:59 AM GMT
    My abeula would make them in a chili verde salsa with beef, I think. My madre does not really like them.
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    Jan 15, 2013 8:04 AM GMT
    Ryan_Andrew said
    nicodegallo saidGood luck trying to find a wild cactus of any kind in Virginia, lol. Nopales here come in a bag or with leaves in a barrel.

    true that... I forget I live in Texas.


    I lived in San Antonio for a year and, unfortunately, didn't think to go look for cactus at the time, lol.
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    Jan 15, 2013 9:19 AM GMT
    When I lived in Mexico we used to buy cactus bread which was partly made of this. It was the most delicious bread I have ever tasted. I also llke the fruit. This cactus grows wild in Spain but I think maybe it was brought back to Spain with the conquistadores. Unfortunately I have never found the bread here. The nogales "leaves" are very good for you but I forget why. We use to eat them as a vegetable but they do not have much flavour on their own.
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    Jan 15, 2013 9:25 AM GMT
    Try this out: Wash them first to get all the slime off of them (and make sure they don't have the spines anymore), dice them into little cubes (not too small but not too big), then dice up some tomatos, onions, cilantro, and a liiittle bit of chile peppers, then mix it all in together and sprinkle some salt and pepper in it and BAM!!! You got a pretty good nopales dish. ;D
  • calibro

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    Jan 15, 2013 12:36 PM GMT
    they're ok in salads or sautes with other veggies and strong flavor profiles
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    Jan 15, 2013 12:41 PM GMT
    When I was in Mexico last summer, nopales was juiced with pineapple at breakfast and it was really, really good. I've done that a couple of time here at home, and it was fairly good - but not quite the same results.
  • jessetriguy

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    Jan 15, 2013 1:28 PM GMT
    my mom makes them with baby pork ribs a light chili sauce and home made tortillas....DELICIOUS!!! icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 15, 2013 1:58 PM GMT
    Have eaten them in all kinds of ways and they still taste like glue. Some things are better as lotion or hair products.
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    Jan 15, 2013 5:12 PM GMT
    may11 saidHave eaten them in all kinds of ways and they still taste like glue. Some things are better as lotion or hair products.


    Haha! I called my mom about it this morning. Basically, she asked me why I was even bothering with the stuff.
  • CityofDreams

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    Jan 15, 2013 5:20 PM GMT
    Nopales are very versatile. You can use them in cold salads, fry them with eggs, BBQ them...oh the possibilities! Anyway, I sure you will finds tons of great recipes online.
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    Jan 15, 2013 5:49 PM GMT
    only ever had them grilled, in red chile, or pickled. in the Gila Valley, they r only picked in the spring when the nopalitos r small, soft, tender, y sin espinas.
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    Jan 15, 2013 5:53 PM GMT
    my mom fries them with Oaxacan cheese, but for me they're discusting icon_mad.gif
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    Jan 16, 2013 4:32 AM GMT
    nicodegallo said
    may11 saidHave eaten them in all kinds of ways and they still taste like glue. Some things are better as lotion or hair products.


    Haha! I called my mom about it this morning. Basically, she asked me why I was even bothering with the stuff.


    Haha I would have said the same. Lol here in Houston we have as many Mexican restaurants as gas stations. So I have tried them in all kinds of tacos, salsas, arroz, sopa, shit after a nasty burn also haahha and they still taste like glue/gel.
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    Jan 16, 2013 4:34 AM GMT
    They grew everywhere in my Dad's farm.
    I didn't know you could eat them!
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    Jan 16, 2013 4:34 AM GMT
    I thought this was going to be a tongue-in-cheek race thread icon_lol.gif

    I've never heard of your edible sliced green bugs. yick
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    Jan 16, 2013 4:59 AM GMT
    GigoloAssassin saidThey grew everywhere in my Dad's farm.
    I didn't know you could eat them!


    Most cacti are edible once you remove the spines. Nopales, or prickly pears, usually produce the most abundant fruit. They're a great source of hydration especially for growing in such dry climates.

    I simply became curious because I see bags and jars of nopales at Latino food stores all the time. I've always wondered what they were like. They're pretty cheap, so even if I don't like them, it wouldn't be that much of a waste.
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    Jan 16, 2013 5:10 AM GMT
    Oh I didn't realize it was cactus.
    I have some tea that contains cactus. It's a very interesting blend.