Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins
A zesty taste sensation from Jay's Mestena Cafe in San Antonio, Texas as published in Texas Highways Magazine.
- 2 lbs fresh cactus pieces, paddles (nopalitos)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons achiote paste (look for it in the Mexican specialty-foods section or Achiote Paste)
- 2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg white
- 3⁄4 cup ice water (approximately)
- peanut oil (for frying)
- Remove thorns and “eyes” from cactus, and trim off the edges of pads.
- Blanch cactus for 2 minutes in a covered pan with enough boiling salted water to cover; drain.
- Cut cactus in 3- to 4-inch strips similar to French fries; set aside.
- Combine cornstarch and achiote paste in a blender or food processor, and pulse until smooth.
- In a medium-size bowl, combine flour and baking powder, add cornstarch mixture, and blend well.
- In another bowl, beat egg white to stiff meringue.
- Fold into the flour mixture, alternating with enough ice water to make batter the consistency of unbeaten egg white; chill.
- Dredge cactus strips in batter, and fry in deep hot oil (375° on the thermometer) until crisp and golden, approximately 3 minutes.
- Drain well and serve.
Amazing! My husband loved them! We ate them plain as well as dipped them in salsa. Great both ways.