Skip to content

Quick Curtido (Salvadoran Cabbage Slaw)

January 23, 2017

By Kath Dedon


Quick Curtido (Mexican Salvadoran Cabbage Slaw) is a recipe that I found on Serious Eats. Author Lauren Rothman says that Curtido is popular in many Latin American countries and it adds a welcome freshness to many rich, long-simmered meat and bean dishes.

Traditionally, Curtido is made days in advance, but this quick version can be made the same day you serve it. Leftovers keep well, and stay crispy, for several days in the refrigerator.

The original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of sugar. I decided to swap the sugar for Truvia, a stevia and erythritol sweetener that I had never used before. I was amazed at how well it worked. I recommend it if you have any concerns about using sugar.

We had a Mexican feast for Carrie’s birthday dinner last night. Dinner included Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork tacos, Instant Pot “refried” beans, homemade guacamole, and this Quick Curtido. The Curtido, as simple as it is, really was terrific with the other dishes.

I know I’ll be making Quick Curtido again. It’s so quick to make if you have a food processor to do the slicing for you. It’s great with Mexican food, but I’m thinking it would also be welcome at summer barbecues!




Quick Curtido (Mexican Salvadoran Cabbage Slaw)

(Adapted from Lauren Rothman’s recipe on Serious Eats)


In the comments below, Jennifer, who is from El Salvadore, pointed out that jalapeño peppers are not traditionally used. Feel free to leave it out if you want a non-spicy curtido.


(print the recipe)


Makes about 5 cups (Serves 8 – 10)


½ small (2-pound) green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

½ medium white onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 carrots, peeled and shredded

1 small jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced (optional)

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar (or 1 packet of Truvia, or ¾ teaspoon bulk Truvia)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Put the cabbage, onion, carrots, and jalapeno in a large bowl.
  2. Heat the cider vinegar, sugar (or Truvia), and salt in a small saucepan, stirring just until the sugar and the salt is dissolved.
  3. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables and toss well to distribute.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Remove from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature before serving.




7 Comments leave one →
  1. lostinapot permalink
    January 23, 2017 11:59 pm

    Another great post. Sounds like you had a yummy dinner party.
    The slaw looks like it’s going to jump out of your image and into my plate.

  2. Jennifer permalink
    September 3, 2017 2:05 pm

    The curtido pictured looks great. Just an FYI, curtido is not Mexican, it’s origin is from El Salvador. Perhaps some have adopted it, but I know many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, and none had ever heard about it until I’ve introduced it to them. My family is from El Salvador. There, traditionally it does not have jalapeños, but it has become a bit more common given the Mexican influence. We also don’t heat the vinegar. We just ferment the cabbage in it. Thanks for sharing and getting the word out on this very healthy food.

    • September 3, 2017 2:52 pm

      Thank you so much for your insight, Jennifer! I’ll update my blog post. I’m glad to know that the jalapeño is not traditional since I occasionally make this for friends who like zero heat in their food. 😉


  1. Happy New Year! | In the kitchen with Kath
  2. Culture Night: El Salvador – Simplicity with Britt
  3. Cabbage Slaw | The Foodies' Kitchen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: