Marketplace Tacos

Tacos Placeros
Fresh, bold, honest flavors that exude the essence of the Mexican kitchen.
Servings: 16tacos


  • 4medium (1 pound total) nopales (cactus paddles), cleaned of spines and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • salt
  • 1small white onion, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1cup chopped ripe tomato (about ¼-inch pieces is perfect)—you’ll need 1 medium
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and very thinly sliced crosswise
  • A few tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2large ripe avocados, pitted, flesh scooped from skin, each cut into 8 slices
  • 8 to 10ounces panela or fresco cheese, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 to 3ounces crisp-fried chicharrón, broken into ½-inch pieces (2 to 3 cups)
  • 2 limes, each cut into 8 wedges, plus a little more for seasoning the salad
  • 16 warm corn tortillas


Cook the nopales. Scoop the nopales into a 2- to 3-quart saucepan, sprinkle generously with salt, then set over medium heat and cover (if your saucepan doesn’t have a lid, use a cookie sheet).  When the nopales have exuded enough of their sticky sap to mostly cover the bottom of the skillet, about 5 minutes, uncover and continue cooking, stirring regularly, until all the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes longer.  Cool to room temperature and scoop into a bowl. 


Finish the salad. Scoop the onion into a strainer and rinse with cold water, shake off the clinging moisture, then add to the bowl with the nopales.  Add the tomato, serrano and cilantro.  Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon.  


Serve the tacos. Set out warm tortillas, nopal salad, avocado, fresh cheese, chicharrón and limes for everyone to make their own tacos. 

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