Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Tortitas de Papa y Camarón con Nopales (Potato Cakes with Shrimp and Nopales)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Potato and shrimp cakes served in a salsa verde with tender nopalitos (cactus). A delicious meatless option for dinner or as a starter!

This recipe for tortitas de papa is adapted from my Mom's recipe that she used to serve during Lent. We enjoyed the tortitas de papa (potato cakes) with lentils or pan-seared white fish. My twist on her recipe is the added fresh shrimp and the nopalitos (cactus). Both seafood and nopales are popular in Mexico during Lent as a meatless option. Try this delicious combination with salsa verde or your favorite salsa recipe.


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  1. Add the potatoes to a pot and cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain the water and smash using a potato masher. Taste for salt. Let cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the tortitas in the order listed. Stir well to combine. Roll and shape into 12 small cakes. Place onto a plate lined with wax paper and chill for 1-2 hours.
  3. To prepare salsa, preheat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and sautee for 3-4 minutes. Add the salsa verde and nopalitos. Simmer on low for 5 minutes. Taste for salt. Cover and remove from heat.
  4. In a separate skillet, preheat ½ cup of oil to medium heat for 3-5 minutes. When hot, fry a few of the tortitas. If they brown too fast, turn down the heat slightly. Do not keep turning them or they may fall apart. Once brown, carefully flip over and brown the other side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Once all the tortitas are cooked, heat the salsa with nopales just until warm. To serve, transfer salsa to a shallow dish. Lay the tortitas on top. Garnish with cilantro. Serve right away.

Chef Notes

Use this tortita de papa recipe to create your own twist. Instead of shrimp, add in some chopped bacon, cheese and diced jalapeño for a popper version. Don't forget to chill for a few hours for best results. Shape and cook as directed.

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