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Curtido (El Salvadoran Cabbage Salad)

Curtido (El Salvadoran Cabbage Salad)

Are you craving some tangy and refreshing flavors to add to your meals? Look no further than curtido, the famous El Salvadoran cabbage salad! Packed with crisp cabbage, carrots, and a zesty vinegar-based dressing, curtido is the perfect accompaniment to any dish. Let’s dive into the world of curtido and discover why it’s a must-try culinary delight!

The Origins of Curtido

Curtido is a traditional Salvadoran dish that has been passed down through generations. It is often served alongside pupusas, a popular Salvadoran street food. The word “curtido” comes from the Spanish word “curtir,” which means “to cure” or “to pickle.” Just like pickling, curtido involves marinating cabbage and other vegetables in a tangy brine to create a flavorful and crunchy salad.

The Ingredients

What goes into making a delicious curtido? The star of the show is undoubtedly cabbage. Its crisp texture and mild flavor make it the perfect base for this salad. Carrots add a pop of color and sweetness, while onions and jalapeños bring a hint of heat and complexity. The dressing is made with vinegar, oregano, and a touch of salt, creating a tangy and refreshing flavor profile.

The Preparation Process

How do you make curtido? It’s surprisingly simple! Start by thinly slicing the cabbage and shredding the carrots. Finely chop the onions and jalapeños. In a large bowl, combine all the vegetables and toss them together. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oregano, and salt. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix until everything is well coated. Let the curtido marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

Why You Should Try Curtido

Still not convinced that curtido deserves a spot on your plate? Here are a few reasons why you should give it a try:

  1. Refreshing and tangy: The combination of vinegar and cabbage creates a refreshing and tangy flavor that complements a wide range of dishes.
  2. Crunchy texture: The crispness of the cabbage and carrots adds a satisfying crunch to every bite.
  3. Versatile: Curtido can be enjoyed as a side dish, a topping for tacos or sandwiches, or even as a refreshing salad on its own.
  4. Healthy and nutritious: Cabbage is rich in vitamins and minerals, making curtido a healthy addition to your meals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use a different type of cabbage for curtido?

A: Absolutely! While traditional curtido uses green cabbage, you can experiment with other varieties like red cabbage or Napa cabbage for a different flavor and color.

Q: How long does curtido stay fresh?

A: Curtido can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just make sure to give it a good stir before serving.

Q: Is curtido spicy?

A: The level of spiciness can be adjusted to your preference. If you prefer a milder flavor, remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeños before adding them to the salad.

Q: Can I make curtido in advance?

A: Absolutely! In fact, curtido tastes even better when it has had time to marinate in the fridge. Prepare it a day ahead for maximum flavor.

Q: Can I add additional vegetables to curtido?

A: Of course! Feel free to get creative and add other vegetables like bell peppers, radishes, or even some diced tomatoes for added freshness and flavor.

Q: Can I make a smaller batch of curtido?

A: Yes, you can easily adjust the quantities to make a smaller batch. Just remember to maintain the proportions of the ingredients for the perfect balance of flavors.

Q: Can I use dried oregano instead of fresh?

A: Absolutely! Dried oregano works just as well in the dressing. Just make sure to crumble it between your fingers to release its aroma and flavor.

Q: Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar?

A: Yes, you can substitute white vinegar with apple cider vinegar for a slightly sweeter and milder taste. It adds a unique twist to the traditional recipe.

In Conclusion

Curtido is a versatile and delicious Salvadoran cabbage salad that adds a burst of flavor to any meal. Its tangy and refreshing taste, combined with the satisfying crunch of cabbage and carrots, makes it a perfect accompaniment to a variety of dishes. Whether you enjoy it as a side, a topping, or a standalone salad, curtido is sure to impress your taste buds. So why not give this traditional Salvadoran delight a try and elevate your culinary experience?

Curtido El Salvadoran Cabbage Salad compressed image1

Curtido (El Salvadoran Cabbage Salad)

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1/2 of a green cabbage , with the core removed and shredded
  • 1 carrot , grated
  • 1 quart of boiling water
  • 3 green onions , finely chopped
  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano


  • In a large bowl, mix together the cabbage and carrot.
  • Pour boiling water over the cabbage and carrot mixture.
  • Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes, then drain well.
  • Return the cabbage and carrots to the bowl.
  • Add the green onion, vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, and oregano to the bowl.
  • Toss the ingredients together until well combined.
  • Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Keyword Cabbage, Coleslaw, Diabetic, Fat, Healthy, Low, Lunches, Recipes, Salad, salads, Seasonal, Vegetable, winter
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


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