Curtido – A cultured Salvadoran Slaw (similar to kraut) 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!
There is a magical synergy that happens in this Cultured Salvadoran Slaw. The important base of Curtido is cabbage, onion, oregano and fine sea salt. It is hard to describe the end flavor result this 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!
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.
Thinly slice an onion.
Thinly slice a jalapeno and grate a carrot. You can also create carrot “ribbons” using a veggie peeler.
Use fresh oregano if you have it, or dried works fine as well.
Layer the veggies with fine sea salt and let it sit 20 minutes or until it starts to release their liquid.
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.
Use clean sterile jars or crocks, with a couple of inches of space at the top.
Here I’ve use a large, two quart jar. But you could use 2-3 smaller jars. Place jalapeño in the bottom of the jar.
Then pack the Curtido into the jar.
You want enough brine ( salt water) 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.
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.
Loosely cover the jar, place it in a bowl if you like to catch any juices and set 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. Once you see the bubble activity, feel free to store it in the fridge.
It is alive and well and well continue to slowly develop more flavor and complexity for months on end. Just keep the slaw submerged in the brine.
We have been using this on everything from tacos, to enchiladas, to black bean burgers! So flavorful and refreshing and adds the best texture!
Last night we had some friends over for simple veggie burgers and I had this jar of curitdo out along with the condiments.
It was interesting watching it disappear… so delicious on the burgers!
You could even add it to lunch bowls and buddha bowls as a refreshing side.
We also served it over Pupusas ( Salvadorian Masa Cakes) which I will be sharing with you in a couple of days!
Anyways, this 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!
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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!
- 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 ¼–1/2 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.
Thinly slice onion in half rings. Shred carrots with a grater or using a veggie peeler to create long flat strips.
In a large bowl, place half of all the ingredients except for jalapeno. Layer on the remaining half of the ingredients. 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.
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.
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 submerge. 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 cheesecloth or loose lid.
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.
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.
Use a ratio of 1 teaspoon sea salt per cup of water, if you need to add more brine.
- Calories: 30
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