nopales

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NYNM
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nopales - Thu, 07/24/08 4:36 PM
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I have never had them, OK, so what do these cactuses taste like? Is it dry and crunchy like jicama, or wet and crunchy like celery or a bit slimy like okra, or tasteless? (or like chicken?)

WarToad
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RE: nopales - Thu, 07/24/08 4:50 PM
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I've had them several times(8? 10?) in mexican restaurants in both America and Mexico. Never raw, always cooked. Even in salads they've been cooked.

Fairly mild taste, just kinda "vegetal" - I don't equate the flavor to much like anything. I was expecting more crunch, but instead they're firm but soft.(if that makes sense) And they do develop a bit of a okra-like slime on the outside when skinned. I've bought them, skinned and soaked them hoping the slime would go away, but never had much luck reducing it.

I'm a very adventurous eater and there's very few things I outright don't like. I'm always looking for what's different or unique on the menu. Nopales however, I've never quite warmed up to. They're ok, I'll eat them, but I don't seek them out anymore. Maybe its just because the flavor isn't particularly distinctive, and the slight slime texture is a bit off-putting.

Twinwillow
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RE: nopales - Thu, 07/24/08 5:22 PM
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I've done them on the grill. Pretty good too. Be sure to "de-claw" first. However, I think thats the way they're sold in the market.

juanito_mandujano
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RE: nopales - Thu, 07/24/08 5:23 PM
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The other day Bobby Flay described nopales as having an okra-like texture. I can't say that I have had okra, so don't know if that is true or not. What I can tell you about nopales is this:

Nopales are usually boiled and you can find them in the Hispanic aisle of a well-stocked supermarket. Best brand is Dona Maria. Make sure you rinse them in cold water very well until they don't feel very slimy.

The are awesome when sauted with onion, garlic, tomatoes and scrambled in eggs, eaten with corn or flour tortillas.

Are awesome as a salad with onion, tomato and a little crumbled queso fresco.

Kick ass when made with pork stew meat and chile.

And are heavenly during Lent, when they can be made with shrimp patties and chile.....

Oh yeah, and they even make ice cream out of it too!!!!!

Twinwillow
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fabulousoyster
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RE: nopales - Thu, 07/24/08 6:47 PM
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I've had the jarred ones, drained, rinsed, saute with olive oil, onion, garlic, tomato and add 3 eggs, scramble up. Sprinkle with cilantro (or don't) add a little salt and pepper and a couple of your favorite heated tortilla, flour or corn, sprinkled with hot sauce if you like. When done, the egg dish had a slight flavor of a hollandaise sauce mixed in, which is probably the light lemony tang of the nopales. I did'nt add any cheese.

juanito_mandujano
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RE: nopales - Thu, 07/24/08 6:51 PM
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I'm not sure if this is an old Mexican wives tale, but nopales are supposedly also good for diabetes.