Huaraches: Stuffed Nopales

Huaraches is the name of a traditional Mexican dish named after the flat soles of the Mexican Sandals known as Huaraches. They are made from Nopales, a type of cactus typically found throughout Mexico. Cactus tends to taste sweet and is often served as a side dish or in cases like huaraches, as the main dish. The spines of the cactus are removed and the flat paddles (leaves) are stuffed and fried.


    6 large nopal cactus paddles, cleaned
    1/4 medium white onion
    1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved
    1/4-1/2 cup flour
    3 eggs, separated, at room temperature
    salt to taste
    6 slices manchego, jack or gouda cheese
    1/2 cup corn oil


Place the whole cactus paddles, onion and garlic in a large pot with water to cover and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until the nopales are tender but still firm. Drain and rinse.

Starting at the wide, curved end, carefully slice each paddle horizontally, as if butterflying a chop for stuffing. Do not cut all the way through to the narrow end (the thicker part where the pad is attached to the main plant) but leave approximately 1 1/2" uncut. Place a slice of cheese between the two sections and press flat.

Dredge the paddles in flour. Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks, and fold in the lightly beaten egg yolks.

Heat the oil in a large skillet until a few drops of water sprinkled into it bounce around. Dip the stuffed nopales in the egg batter to coat and fry in the hot oil until golden brown on each side. Serve immediately with red salsa.

Serves 6

Huaraches Tip

Huaraches are popular in warm climates.

Last updated: Sunday, April 05th, 2020 - 09:10:29 AM