Curtido is a traditional central american dish which is very simple to make, has a short fermentation period (3 days although you could easily go longer) and is very delicious. I first came across curtido (sometimes called cortido) in San Francisco at a Salvadoran restaurant where it is served as a tabletop condiment along with their delicious pupusas. It’s one of my most popular fermentations among my friends. Most people don’t make fermented curtido but rather pickle it with vinegar, but I think you’ll find the fermented curtido recipe to be tastier with a little more zing to it. I picked up the idea of fermenting this from Andrea Chesman’s “The Pickled Pantry,” a very good kitchen book which covers many different fermentation recipes and pickles.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Fermentation time: 3 days
Yield: 6 cups
1 head green cabbage, cut into 1/8″ ribbons
1 1/2 T sea salt
1 medium onion sliced in thin ribbons
1 large or 2 med carrots grated
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1T dried oregano (I’m sure fresh would be better)
- Slice the cabbage into very thin ribbons approximately 1/8″ wide
- toss in a large bowl with the salt and let sit for 30 minutes or so until it begins to sweat.
- add the onion, carrot, jalapeno and oregano and mix together
- place in a fermentation vessel (I prefer a 1 gallon glass wide mouth cookie jar)
- use your fist to compress the mix into the bottom of the vessel
- place a weight directly on top of the mix (I use a 1/2 gallon jar filled with water). The point of this is to continue to further extraction of liquid from the veggies.
- Within 8-10 hours, there should be enough extracted liquid in the container to cover the veggies completely. I usually add enough water to make sure the veggies are covered by an inch of liquid.
- cover the vessel with a cloth to keep dust and other unsavories from getting inside
- leave for 3 days and taste it.
- refrigerate to slow the continued fermentation
Prepare this recipe and serve it as a simple side salad, or a garnish along with pupusas. I like to put it (or any sort of fermented cabbage dish really, as a topping to dosas. If you like, I posted an alternate version of this recipe using purple cabbage. I also added a recipe for a delicious healthy kale curtido salad. Another great reason to make curtido!
Yum! Let me know if you have any suggested modifications.