Mexican Nopal Revuelto (Cactus)

Mexican Breakfast



3 cups (1 pound) nopalitos*
2 cups (10 ounces)panela cheese**
1 medium onion
5 eggs
¼ teaspoon cumin

* = These are thin strips of the fleshy part of cactus paddles. (Warning, nopalitos from jars can be quite salty.) Drain and rinse before using. They can be found in some local supermarkets, Mexican markets, or online.
** = They also can be found in some local supermarkets, Mexican markets, or online.


electric beater

Serves 5. Takes 40 minutes.


Rinse nopalitos if they came from a jar. Crumble panela cheese into small pieces. Dice onion. Separate egg whites from egg yolks. Add egg whites to mixing bowl. Whip with electric beater set on high until soft peaks form. Beat yolks until thoroughly blended. Gradually add yolks to whites. Blend gently with fork. Add nopalitos, cheese, onion, and cumin. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended..

Add 1 cup nopalito mix to pan. Smooth with spatula. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes. Scramble the mix for 4 minutes or until the eggs set. Repeat for the next 4 servings.

Serve with green tomatillo sauce (green), red sauce, or salsa.


1) This dish, Nopal Revuelto, is made from cactus. Cactus has all sorts of sharp needles all over its green paddles. Those needles would really hurt your hand if you were to grab a cactus paddle. Don’t even contemplate cactus diving.

2) So how do rabbits never get hurt by cactus bushes? They dart in and out of the bush while happily nibbling away. Cactus harvesters would really like to know. But the bunnies aren’t talking.


Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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