Recipe: Curtido [Latin Pickled Slaw]

Mark Stewart Recipe Leave a Comment

This might very well be one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. It originally accompanied another recipe on this site. However, seeing as curtido compliments so many other foods, we decided it deserves its own post.

During our first day in El Salvador is when we encountered curtido for the first time. The simple yet perfect pupusa, national dish of the country, is never served without this delicious slaw. Almost like a Latin sourkraut, the sharpness of the vinegar, cuts through rich, fatty foods with ease. The cumin gives the curtido its trademark flavour while the jalapeño gives it just the slightest heat.

Typically used for Latin staples such as vigoron and pupusas, this condiment is almost as versatile as the spicy Mexican pickles. Consider using it as a topping for anything from fish tacos, hot dogs or even fried rice.

The recipe itself contains only a few simple ingredients, commonly found almost everywhere. Add to that the ease of preparation and versatility, this condiment should be in every fridge.

Curtido Ingredients



1/2 green cabbage
1 carrot
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno
2 cups white vinegar
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1Tbsp cumin seed
1/4 cup sugar


Shred cabbage, julienne carrots, thinly slice onion and jalapeno, and slice garlic as thin as possible. Add oregano and mix thoroughly in a heatproof bowl or jar.

In a small saucepan heat up vinegar, sugar, cumin seeds and salt. When it comes to a boil, pour over vegetables and cover with a cloth. The cover is to help keep the heat in, don’t seal with a fitted lid, the pressure will blow it off or crack the container.

Let sit on counter until cool and refrigerate. Serve cold.

Will last in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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