Red Kidney Bean Tostada with Nopales

Red Kidney Bean Tostada with Nopales Recipe

Tostadas are deep-fried corn tortillas presented in the form of a flat, open-faced sandwich. I made a slightly smaller version for appetizers, called tostaditas. You can fill them with anything you like; I played with different textures and flavors, and settled on something Lulu had while we were on vacation in Cancun. I added grilled nopales (segments from prickly pears), corn and tomato salsa and topped the appetizers with mini red kidney bean burgers, crumbled queso fresco and Mexican sour cream both from our friends over at Karoun Cheese

I love the fact that you could eat these in one-to-two bites. You can feel both the freshness and spiciness from the vegetables and the warmth and crunch from the tostada. I served them with little wedges of sweet limes from our garden to cut the heaviness of the cheese and sour cream. It's pure piece of heaven for  the mouth. Enjoy!

Mexican Risotto Recipe with Picture


Yields: 8 servings

1 nopal (prickly pear)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup corn kernels
2 Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons agave nectar (or honey)
2 Palestine sweet limes (or regular limes)
2 teaspoons Bhut Jolokia Ghost Pepper Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 day-old jalapeño Cheddar cheese bread roll
½ white onion, chopped
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 small corn tortillas
¼ cup vegetable oil, as needed
¼ cup queso fresco, freshly crumbled
¼ cup crema Mexicana sour cream


Preparing the nopal:

Handling the cactus paddle using a thick oven mitt to protect your hand, remove the spines, thorns and eyes off the nopal, then trim the edges with the knife. Rinse under running water and pat dry. Brush with a thin layer of olive oil.

Heat a griddle pan and brush with olive oil. Place the nopal on the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Slice into 2-3" strips. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Bean Tostada Recipe with Picture

Preparing the corn salsa:

In a serving bowl, combine the corn, tomato. agave nectar, and Bhut Jolokia Ghost Pepper Sauce. Add cilantro. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Adjust seasoning if needed. Let sit for at least 5-10 minutes at room temperature before serving to let all the flavors blend together.

Preparing the red kidney bean burger mixture:

Cut the bread into cubes. Place in a food processor and grind into crumbs.

Place the red kidney beans in a mixing bowl. Mash them manually. Add the egg, breadcrumbs, white onion, garlic powder, parsley and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Coarsely blend until a thick paste is formed (it's okay if there are still whole beans visible). Season with salt and pepper. Form 16 small patties.

For the tostatidas:

Note: For regular-sized tostadas, deep-fry the whole corn tortillas.

Form 16 disks of corn tortilla using a 3"-diameter circle cutter.

Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, place one disk at a time in the oil and cook for 1 minute until lightly golden. Flip the tortilla, then cook the other side for 30 seconds. Transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the tortillas.

For assembly:

Combine the corn salsa with the nopal. Mix well. 

Place the sour cream in a bowl. Add about 1 tablespoon from the liquid in the salsa to thin the sour cream. Stir well.

Using the same griddle pan for the nopal, add more olive oil. Lower the heat to medium-high and pan-fry the bean burgers until golden. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until a golden crust is formed on the outer layer of the patties. Transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels. 

Place the tostaditas onto a serving platter. Spoon a little mound of sour cream (as the glue for the topping). Add the nopal / corn salsa. Top with the bean burger. Sprinkle with queso fresco. Finish with more sour cream. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve immediately with small wedges of lime on the side.

Bon appétit!


I used Queso Del Valle queso fresco and Mexican sour cream.

I used Artisan bread I find at Safeway. My husband Lulu especially likes the jalapeño cheddar cheese bread rolls, which go great with soups. If you use fresh bread rolls, you might want to place the bread in the oven once it's diced to dry it a little bit. 

Grilling the nopales, as opposed to boiling or sautéing them, prevents this vegetable from getting soggy.

You can find All Spice Cafe online and discover their wide variety of hot sauces. I also recommend their chipotle tapenade, which tastes amazing. 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on April 30, 2013.


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