Monday, April 8, 2013

Recipe: Cactus Salad (Ensalada de Nopales)

So, here it is, the recipe for Cactus Salad (Ensalada de Nopales) as promised.  Chef Salvador Vasquez of Presidente InterContinental Mexico demonstrated how to remove the needles off the cactus paddles or nopales and demonstrated further how to prepare the salad. This is an interesting, appetizing salad which is hugely popular in Mexico and is said to be high in vitamins.

Cactus has a similar texture to aloe vera (but less slimy), with some similarity with green beans and this salad is very appetizing, since red wine vinegar is added to it.

If you would like to try this cactus salad without having to make it yourself, head over to the Mexican Fiesta at InterContinental KL. Read more about it here


The cactus used is a flat-type cactus

To remove the needles, lie the cactus flat on the table then use a sharp knife to run past the needles and scrape off.

Chef Salvador donning a sombrero for his demo ;)


Cactus salad
Recipe courtesy of InterContinental Hotel KL
Serves 10

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs fresh cactus paddles or nopales (with the needles removed)
3/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 Italian Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4 inch cube
2 bunches cilantro (leaves only), chopped
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cracked black pepper, to garnish
1/8 tsp oregano

1. Preheat grill or broiler.

2. Place cactus paddles in a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 1/2 tsp of salt. Boil the cactus until it is soft (about 3-5 mins). Set aside to cool to room temperature.

3. Cut cactus into 1/2 inch pieces.

4. In a large bowl, combine the cactus, tomatoes, onion,  and cilantro with the remaining olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss well.

5. Serve on plates lined with lettuce leaves, and garnish with oregano.



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22 comments:

  1. Cactus? Ummm...no, thanks. LOL!!!

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    Replies
    1. LOL sounds unusual but actually tastes pretty good!

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  2. I tried the cactus salad before! I quite like it! hehe

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    Replies
    1. Me too! It's a bit like eating aloe I think.

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  3. Oh wow... thanks for the recipe. I see catus selling in the supermarket but don't know it can be salad!

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    Replies
    1. Oh u can buy cactus in supermarket there? So cool, dont think I've ever seen it in KL supermarkets.

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  4. Replies
    1. Hehe can use the cactus in your garden.

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  5. Very interesting! Can we get cactus here? Have never seen it at the supermarket :)

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    Replies
    1. Never seen it at the supermarkets but I have some in the garden. Hehe!

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  6. Oo, this is interesting, I wonder if the taste is similar to aloe?

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    Replies
    1. Yes quite similar, but less slimy.

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  7. that's cool, especially the cactus removal tip! :D

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    Replies
    1. Yea I thought it would be difficult to remove the needles, but once someone shows u how to do it, it's pretty easy!

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  8. Cactus salad..thats being very experimental!!

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    Replies
    1. A bit unusual for us, but the chef mentioned that it is the most popular salad in Mexico.

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  9. I've only eaten cactus a couple of times and I really liked it! I've had it as prickly pear which is a really sweet, refreshing fruit and in a salad like this. Thanks for the recipe! :D

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  10. When I saw the title, I was hoping it's THIS cactus!!!! We actually have this in our backyard and since we moved here 6 years ago, it's been growing like crazy! I heard the fruit is edible but didn't know we can eat the whole green part. It was an informative post! Will we eat ours... maybe. :)

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  11. Very special dish, Yen! The chef is so generous to share the recipe!

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  12. Cactus ?! Sounds interesting :D For sure , it looks refreshing and very appetizing !

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  13. Yen,
    Cactus salad, very unique!
    Looks refreshing!
    mui

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