If you love nopales, you’re certainly not alone. A gift to all of us humans, nopales are the pads or paddles of the prickly pear cactus. 

Practically synonymous with Mexican cuisine, there are 114 species of nopales in Mexico, and 7 million acres of the country are used to grow them. You might have tried them in salads, on their own, or grilled in delicious chile rojo. In short, nopales are a delicacy — and now we’re craving them.


One thing we don’t love about nopales? Their preparation. If you’ve ever cooked the ingredient, you know how annoying it is to peel off all the thorns so they’re ready to eat. Even if you buy nopales with the big thorns removed, the tiny spikes still need to be peeled before cooking. Until now, we always did it with a knife — and it was time-consuming and tedious. 

Thankfully, one TikToker just posted a viral video that shows an unexpected, super-easy way to prep nopales — and it’s life-changing. We broke down all the steps below!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Nopales
  • A melon baller

1. Lay out your nopal on a cutting board and grab your melon baller.

TikTok, @michoacanitafeliz

2. Use your melon baller to peel the skin off your nopal.

TikTok, @michoacanitafeliz

3. Turn the nopal around and peel off the other side with your melon baller.

TikTok, @michoacanitafeliz

4. Use a knife to peel the edges of your nopal.

TikTok, @michoacanitafeliz

5. You’re done! Can you believe it’s that simple?!