El Curtido es un tipo de col relish ligeramente fermentada. Es típico en la cocina salvadoreña y la de otros países centroamericanos, y está normalmente hecha con col, cebollas, zanahorias, orégano, y a veces zumo de lima; se parece al sauerkraut, al kimchi o la tarta coleslaw.

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Curtido is a type of lightly fermented coleslaw. It is typical of Salvadoran cuisine and that of other Central American countries and is usually made with white cabbage, onions, carrots, oregano and sometimes chili and lime juice; it resembles sauerkraut, kimchi or sour coleslaw. Curtido is commonly eaten in El Salvador with pupusas, a national dish of thick corn tortillas filled with soft cheese, onions, refried beans or pork belly and skin.

It is also a great side dish for a barbecue, or as a probiotic snack in between meals.

Curtido Salvadoreño

Curtido Salvadoreño

Course: Side dish, snackCuisine: El SalvadorDifficulty: easy


Prep time


Fermentation time




  • 1 liter bail-top jar (1)


  • 600 grams cabbage

  • 150 grams carrots

  • 180 grams red onion

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 fresh red or green chilli

  • 1 tbsp oregano

  • 19 grams salt (2% of the weight)

  • ½ lime (optional)


  • Because you determine the salt at the end based on the weight of all the other ingredients, first weigh a large bowl in which you will later process the ingredients and write down the weight.
  • As with any kraut, start with the white cabbage. Cut off the outer 2-3 leaves and set aside. Then quarter the cabbage and cut the quarters into fine strips. The stalk is omitted in the process. A vegetable slicer is a very good purchase if you like to make sauerkraut, because it can be done faster and easier with the slicer than with a knife. The finer you cut the strips, the softer the cabbage will be and the faster and easier you can knead enough brine.
  • If the white cabbage is larger, you may not need the entire head. I can see in the bowl when I've reached the right amount, but in the beginning it's a good idea to weigh in between. You can't fit more than about 600 grams, along with the other vegetables, in a 1-liter jar. If you have more, just use a bigger jar, or make something else with the fresh cabbage.
  • Coarsely grate the carrots on the grater, roughly chop the garlic cloves and cut the onion into fine rings, then dissect them a few times. The chili is cut into fine strips, the juice from the lime half is squeezed.
  • Mix everything together in the bowl and weigh. From the weight subtract the previously determined weight of the bowl. Take 2% from the result - this is how much salt is sprinkled on the vegetables in the bowl. If this is difficult, why not take my salt ratio calculator to the rescue.
  • Use osmosis instead of effort when kneading cabbage
  • After salting, you can let the vegetables sit for a while. The osmosis causes some liquid to form and makes the subsequent kneading of the brine easier. Afterwards, knead or mash the cabbage with your hands or a masher until the cell walls of the cabbage burst and a lot of liquid comes out. In total, you need enough brine (that's the name of the salty liquid) to cover the cabbage well in the jar.
  • Put the vegetables in a suitable vessel and cover them with the outer cabbage leaves prepared earlier. To do this, trim them a bit. The goal is to create a protective barrier so that the fine shreds of vegetables do not drift over the brine. A weight or another barrier is a good idea to prevent bouyancy.
  • The brine should end about 2-3 cm below the edge of the jar. Then there is neither spilling, nor is there too much air to favor mold. The first week is best to place in the dark between 18 ° and 24 ° C, after a week a little cooler, between 16 ° and 20 ° C. 
  • I always let curtido ferment for at least 8 weeks. Then the flavors are well developed, the acidity is balanced and the characteristic carbonic phase is over.


  • I sometimes don't ferment the lime juice along but squeeze it fresh over the cabbage when eating.

Nutrition facts

  • Calories: 48kcal

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Curtido con Pupusas

My favorite way to eat curtido is the traditional way, with warm, thick, delicious and gluten-free corn tortillas, pupusas, filled with mozzarella and fried onions. Sometimes I also fill them with bean paste. The only filling I have not tried so far is with chicharrón.



  • 500 gr. white corn flour (masa harina)
  • 450 - 500 ml hot water
  • ½ - 1 tsp salt
  • frying fat (lard, clarified butter or vegetable fat)


  • sautéed diced onion and
  • 200 gr. mozzarella or other pasta filata cheese
  • or 200 gr. refried beans
  • or 200 gr. chicharrón or other meat


Mix the corn flour with initially 450 ml of very hot water, knead and let stand for 15 minutes. Form a test piece the size of a golf ball and flatten it. If the dough ball tears more than 2 cm at the sides, add more water. It is best to add a little water bit by bit so that the dough does not become too wet.

Divide the dough into 8-10 portions. Shape each portion into a cup, fill with the filling and close. Then carefully, preferably with hands dampened with water or lightly oiled, shape into a flat disk without letting the filling ooze out. To prevent the dough from drying out while shaping, I make the pupusas one at a time and cover the remaining dough with a damp cloth in the meantime.

Fry the tortillas with a little fat on both sides until they are golden brown.

Serve with curtido and red tomato salsa.


  1. Hallo Katsu,
    woher bekommst du das Masa Harina? Im Bioladen gibts nur normales Maismehl, kannst Du das auch empfehlen?
    Danke und liebe Grüße!

    • Hej Anke,

      ich kaufe das nixtamalisierte Maismehl im Afroshop. Normales Maismehl kannst Du zur Not auch nehmen, wird in der Konsistenz allerdings etwas anders werden.

      Bon appétit!

  2. Liebe Katsu,

    Welche Größe sollte ein Weckglas haben um 600gr Kohl zu fermentieren? Ich kann mir die Größenordnung noch so gar nicht vorstellen. Liebe Grüße

    • Hej Vanessa,

      wenn du dieses Rezept machst, nimm ein 1-Liter-Glas. Mit dem anderen Gemüse ist das passend. Falls du etwas anderes machen möchtest und nur 600 gr. Kohl hast, würde ich ein 750-ml-Glas nehmen. Wenn du etwas mehr Lake brauchst, weil es sonst doch zu wenig Kohl ist, spricht nichts dagegen, sie soweit aufzufüllen, bis sie 2-3 cm unter dem Glasrand endet.

      Gutes Gelingen!

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