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nopalitos: too slimy!

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i made nopalitos recently and though i boiled the paddles with an onion and rinsed and rinsed them, they still came out with too much "baba" (way too slimy). i even tried sautéeing them to salvage, but to no avail. i ended up tossing the dish. any advice for next time?

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  1. Yeah, don't cook nopalitos if you don't want slimy. Like okra, the point of the vegetable is it's texture.

    3 Replies
    1. re: noahbirnel

      That is not true... with correct tecnique you can avoid the slime.

      OP... next time you can try:

      > Rub Cactus with Oil & Salt, roast on a cookie shoot at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes... or grill on high heat.

      > Boil with Tomatillo Husks & Corn Husks... to reduce the slimyness.

      Other options... prepare them ahead of time & let them drain well.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        Well I tried out the roasting out of curiosity. It does, indeed, reduce the drippyness, but I find the interior texture still mucilagenous. It was great in tacos with raw onions.

        So how are they cooked in Mexico, do you know?

        1. re: noahbirnel

          For salads they are typically simmered with the tomatillo & corn husks. Then they are allowed to come to room temperature. They never seem slimy to me... or maybe I just look past that.

          After cooking them, they are commonly stir fried with any combination of Chorizo, Eggs, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic

          They are also commonly roasted on a comal... then eaten with grilled meats, or sauced with any number of thick cooked salsas & moles.

    2. You can avoid slime with okra and nopales-- don't overcook! I like my nopales with onion and tomato. My friends from Mexico cook them briefly, eat them cold. Seems to keep the sliminess down.

      1. A light peeling and chopping them also helps a lot...