Stuffed Cactus Paddles (Nopales Rellenos)

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Ana María Flores Sánchez

Serves 6

When preparing cactus (nopal) paddles, make sure you wear gloves to avoid the agüates or tiny thorns. Use a potato peeler or small paring knife to remove them.


  • 12 tender cactus (nopal) paddles
  • 3 C. water
  • 6 slices of Manchego or Panela cheese
  • 1/4 onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 4 eggs, seperated
  • 1 1/2 C. oil


Boil the nopales in the 3 cups of water with the garlic, onion and salt. Drain.

On each of 6 nopal paddles palce a slice of cheese and 3 or 4 pieces of onion. Top with another nopal paddle, secure with wooden toothpicks and dredge in the flour.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then add the yolks and beat for 1 or 2 minutes more.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, dip the nopales in the batter and fry until golden on both sides. Drain on paper toweling.

Served drenched with cooked tomato salsa.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Ana María Flores Sánchez © 2008
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