Grilled Nopales

I have been slightly hesitant to go back to nopales. When I posted the nopalitos I tried to eat more of the dish but I wound up spitting it out. I have never been a person to care about texture all that much, but it was too much for my gut to swallow another bite. I got to thinking though that boiling does make some vegetables a little bit slimy for some reason, I don’t care enough to look up the why, but it just seems like it does, so I found a different preparation.


I pretty much butchered the first few paddles in the nopalitos post when I was trying to clean them off of anything dangerously sharp, but I feel like I’ve got a technique down that works now. Any brown spots you see I believe are just from my negligence in leaving them in the fridge a bit too long and they’re just marching towards being overripe. Even when I leave them more intact though it still covered my cutting board in slime and I had to dab a paper towel to make them easier to handle.


In a cross section of a sliced nopal stem you can see a white layer between the green. It might be where the mucus is coming from, but maybe not. Whenever I took a bite earlier though I kept thinking that was just nothing but solidified slime and couldn’t get the image out of my head.


I read that cutting lines into the paddles help drain some of the slime off and I think it did somewhat, but these were still a bit slimy to the tongue which is a major bummer. I feel incredibly confident that the slime can be eradicated if in a more experienced chef’s hands but alas, that is not me. I did like the seasoned taste of the grilled nopales even if I just chewed these and spit them out. I just couldn’t bring myself to putting it back in my stomach.

Author: Olivia O.

East Tennessee native with an interest in food and trying new things.

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