Nopalitos (Little Cacti)


  • 3/4 pound nopal cactus pads
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar


  1. Remove thorns from the cactus paddles and cut them into strips about 2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide.
  2. Boil the cactus paddles until they are soft and the texture is much like that of cooked bell pepper.
  3. Heat a saucepan over moderate heat. Add olive oil, jalapeno chile and onion. Cook until the onion is soft but not browned.
  4. Turn the heat to low. Add tomatoes, cooked cactus paddles and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, adding the vinegar for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Yield: 4 servings