Hos to make Curtido – A fermented Salvadoran Slaw  (similar to sauerkraut) made with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make and FULL of healthy probiotics – use curtido in tacos, with pupusas, quesadillas, burrito bowls or with enchiladas as a delicious healthy side! 

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

There is a magical synergy that happens in Curtido ( a fermented Salvadoran Slaw)  The important base of Curtido is cabbage, onion, oregano and fine sea salt.  It is hard to describe the end flavor result that light fermentation creates- other than fresh, clean, crunchy and addicting!

It keeps in the fridge for months and the flavor gets better and better with time. Think of this as a Central American version of Sauerkraut!  Delicious on Pupusas, in tacos or as a topping for tostadas or burrito bowls, Curtido is easy and fun to make. Another recipe by Tonia who has been fermenting long before it was trendy.

WATCH HOW TO MAKE CURTIDO! | Video

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

How to make Curtido

Step one

It starts with a medium-sized whole cabbage. Traditionally green cabbage is used, but purple will work well too. You want to use a whole cabbage, not a pre-shredded packaged cabbage which will have less of the good bacteria needed to begin the fermentation process.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Save a couple of the outer leaves, then core and thinly slice, using a mandolin, food processor (with grater attachment) or sharp knife.

Step two

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Thinly slice an onion.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Step three

Thinly slice a jalapeno and grate a carrot. You can also create carrot “ribbons” using a veggie peeler.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Use fresh oregano if you have it, or dried works fine as well.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Step 4

Layer the veggies with fine sea salt and let it sit for 20 minutes or until it starts to release its liquid.

It is important to measure the salt here. Too much salt will kill ALL the bacteria, which will prevent fermentation. Too little salt, may not kill enough of the “bad” bacteria.

Mix well and pound a little (I use a muddler) to help it release liquid.  Let sit another 20 minutes to allow it to get juicy.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Step five

Pack! Use clean sterile jars or crocks.

Here I’ve used an extra large, two quart jar. But you could use 2-3 smaller jars. Place jalapeño in the bottom of the jar.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Then pack the Curtido into the jar.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

You want enough brine ( saltwater) to completely cover the slaw- so if the slaw seems dry, add a little filtered water. I added a 1/8 cup of water above.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Step six

Cover the curtido with the cabbage leaves, which will help keep the slaw submerged. Press it down then weigh it down so the Curtido stays submerged. You can use a fermentation weight if you like.

Or an easy way to make a weight, is to fill a small zip lock bag with water. Seal the bag and place it over the whole cabbage leaves.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Step seven

Loosely cover the jar, place it in a bowl if you like to catch any juices and set it on the counter 3-5 days. The warmer the weather, the faster the fermentation process with happen.

Check the curtido each day to maintain that slaw is still submerged, pressing down if need be, using a muddler or end of a wood spoon. After about 3 days you will begin to see bubbles, a sign that the bacteria is alive and working its magic.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Step eight

Once you see the bubble activity, feel free to store it in the fridge.

It is alive and well and well continues to slowly develop more flavor and complexity for months on end. Just keep the slaw submerged in the brine.

 

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

What to serve with Curtido?

Traditionally it is served with  Pupusas  (Salvadoran Masa Cakes).

We have been using this on everything from tacos, to enchiladas, to black bean burgers! So flavorful and refreshing and adds the best texture!

You could even add it to lunch bowls and buddha bowls as a refreshing side.

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Last night we had some friends over for simple veggie burgers and I had this jar of curtido out along with the condiments.

It was interesting watching it disappear… so delicious on the burgers!

Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Anyways, this Curtido is for all you fermenters out there! You will love it. Please share how you use it in your everyday meals in the comments below!

More Fermented Recipes!

  1. Fermented Hot Sauce
  2. Kimchi
  3. Beet and Cabbage Kraut,
  4. Tumeric Kraut
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Curtido - A cultured Salvadorian Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment! #Curtido #fermented #slaw #cultured #kraut

Curtido Recipe -Salvadoran Cultured Slaw

  • Author: Tonia Schemmel | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Total Time: 60
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Fermented, Cultured
  • Method: Fermented
  • Cuisine: South American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Curtido – A cultured Salvadoran Slaw with cabbage, carrots, onion and oregano. Simple to make, full of healthy probiotics! Use on Tacos, Pupusas, quesadillas or enchiladas as a delicious healthy condiment!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium head of green cabbage (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 cup carrot shreds, optional
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, dried (1/4 c chopped fresh)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced in rings (or ¼1/2 t chili flakes) optional

Sterilized Jars or crocks.  ( I used one 2 quart jar) Feel free to use two 1 quart jars or smaller pint jars.


Instructions

  1. Take off a few outer leaves of the cabbage and set them aside.  Finely shred or chop cabbage with a mandolin, food processor (with slicing disc) or sharp knife.
  2. Thinly slice the onion in half rings.  Shred carrots with a grater or using a veggie peeler to create long flat strips.
  3. In a large bowl, place the ingredients ( veggies, herbs, onions, and salt)-all except the jalapeno and mix well. Let sit for about 10 -20 minutes allowing the veggies and salt to merge and extract the natural juices.  Use a pounder, large pestle, or your hands to macerate the mixture.
  4. Distribute jalapeno rings in the bottom of the jars (or chili flakes, if using) and then fill up the jars with the cabbage mixture packing tightly, pressing down with the pounder, leaving a 1 or 2-inch space at the top.  It should be juicy.
  5. It is important that the cabbage is completed covered with the liquid. You can add a little brine (salted filtered water) if the cabbage seems dry.   (Brine= 1 teaspoon sea salt per cup of water) Packing in a cabbage leaf on top of the mixture can help keep the mixture submerged.  Alternatively, you can use a fermentation weight or tuck in a sandwich-sized zip lock bag on the top ( fill with water and zip close).  This creates a good weight and barrier.  Cover the top with a cheesecloth or a loose lid.
  6. Leave on the counter at room temperature for 3-5 days, checking daily to make sure cabbage is still under liquid, packing down again if need be.  You will start to see tiny bubbles rising up from the bottom this means the culturing is happening.  Culturing happens faster in warmer weather.
  7. Refrigerate, keeping the curtido submerged under the brine. It will continue to develop flavor and complexity over time. Curtido will keep for many many months, as long as it is submerged under the brine.

Notes

Use a ratio of 1 teaspoon sea salt per cup of water, if you need to add more brine.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 30

Keywords: Curtido Recipe, How to make Curtido, What is Curtido, Curtido, salvadorian slaw, pupusa slaw,

Share this with the world

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

Subscribe
to get recipes via email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

Comments

  1. I’ve made this a couple of times and it is fantastic! Now that I’ve learned to make pupusas too I am in heaven. Thanks!