Quick Curtido (Salvadoran Cabbage Slaw) Recipe

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Photograph: Lauren Rothman

Why It Works

  • A hot vinegar brine lends acidity to cabbage, onions, and carrots, but quickly cooling it in the refrigerator with the vegetables retains their crisp texture and bright, fresh color.
  • Lightning-quick to prepare, the curtido will only get better with age in the fridge

What sauerkraut is to a hotdog and kimchi is to a Korean pancake, curtido is to a variety of Latin American dishes. This funky, vinegary cabbage, onion, and carrot slaw brings crunch and a hit of acid to a host of rich, long-cooked dishes that call out for brightness and texture. Traditional curtido is prepared days in advance, allowing it to develop a fermented tang, but this shortcut version—ready in only an hour—is a nice fallback when you don't have time to think ahead. Try it spooned atop braises such as beef barbocoa or sandwiched into Mexican gorditas.

Note: Curtido is ready within one hour, but improves with time. It can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Recipe Facts

4.5

(2)

Active: 10 mins
Total: 70 mins
Serves: 10 servings
Makes: 5 cups

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 small (2-pound) green cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and very thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 small jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, minced (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, onion, carrot, and jalapeño, if using. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, salt, and sugar a cook over medium heat, stirring, until salt and sugar are just dissolved. Pour brine over vegetables and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for one hour before serving.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
33 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 33
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 142mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 36mg 182%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 228mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)