Cecina Tacos with Nopales Salsa

Cecina and grilled nopales tacos

I am not a big fan of beef, but the few times I eat it is in the form of carne asada o cecina tacos. What is cecina? Don Cuevas of My Mexican Kitchen answers this question:

Cecina is thinly sliced, salted and partially dried sheets or strips of beef or pork. The technique for making it requires an extremely sharp knife and considerable skill and patience. A largish piece of boneless beef of beef is turned into a continuous roll of thin slices by deft cutting, back and forth, within the mass of muscle.

I don’t have the patience or the skills to make it, but when I am in the mood for some delicious cecina tacos I get it already prepared at the Mexican market. All I have to do is grill it and serve it with some delicious salsa. And my favorite salsa for cecina is made with nopales. I’ve posted a nopal salsa recipe before, but this time instead of boiling them I grilled them and the result was an amazing salsa that I will be making several times this summer.

Cecina and grilled nopales tacos

Grilled Nopal Salsa
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
  • •2 nopales, cleaned
  • •1/2 red onion, sliced
  • •2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • •the juice of 2 limes
  • •bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • •salt to taste
  1. Grill the nopales at high temperature for about 4 minutes each side or until they are cooked. They will change color from a bright green to a brownish green.
  2. Carefully cut them in bite size pieces and mix them with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before using.
  4. Serve over cecina, carne asada or any other kind of taco. Remember that real tacos are made with corn tortillas.

Cecina and grilled nopales tacos

¡Buen provecho!


  • Will have to do a bit of research on the nopala, ut I knpw a good taco and this is definitely one!!

  • The tacos look great, although I am also not a fan of beef.

  • Your tacos look delicious. We had nasty looking cactus that we pulled out years and years ago – because we hated the fine hairs that would stick into us. Now it seems as though they make really good salsas and other dishes.

  • I haven’t seen prickly pears in Britain, but I am sure I can get canned nopales. So that is sorted. But I have no idea how I would get hold of this lovely beef. So I will have to stick to drooling over your photos.

  • I just tried making steak tacos for the first time last week and I'm hooked. These look fantastic and that salsa sounds delicious!

  • que rico! yo quiero 2 tacos para llevar por fis 🙂

    – me encantan los tacos de nopales, son la especialidad de mi Papa, y no sabes cuanto tiempo llevo sonhando con ellos…….

  • I love cecina – it is one of my favorite meats for tacos. I didn't realize it was salted and partially dried – very interesting. 🙂

  • Haven't grilled them before. Sounds so amazing. I can imagine the wonderful roasted flavor right now 🙂

  • Wow! yummy recipe with in real Mexican style. Though nopales is a new culinary term for me but the dish looks delicious.

  • Nopalea (made from the prickly pear cactus) is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is said that inflammation is the root cause of many diseases and chronic discomforts. It is also believed that Nopalea juice is chock full of antioxidants and a property called betalains which contains many of the B vitamins and minerals.

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