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5 from 5 votes

Curtido (Salvadoran Pickled Cabbage Slaw)

A quick and easy, lightly pickled cabbage coleslaw (curtido) that can be eaten as-is or served as a topping with tacos, pupusas, burgers, soups etc.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side, topping
Cuisine: Salvadoran
Servings: 5 cups of slaw
Calories: 74kcal
Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks


  • 600 g cabbage (approximately half a cabbage)
  • 1 onion (red or white)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1-2 jalapeno (optional)



  • Put the cabbage on the cutting board stem side down and cut it in half
  • With a large knife, cut the stem out of each half by cutting an upside down V around the stem on the bottom to remove the tough part of the cabbage (we only want to use the leaves)
  • Cut each half again, in half (so that it is in quarters and easier to thinly slice)
  • Thinly slice the cabbage and put it in a large bowl and clean it by dunking it in cold water a few times.
  • Drain well and set aside
  • Wash the carrot, and cut thin slivers out of it
  • Add the carrot slivers to the bowl with the cabbage.
  • Peel and finely slice the onion and place a layer at the very top of the bowl on top of the carrots and cabbage.
  • Sprinkle the salt and oregano over the onions.
  • Evenly pour the hot water over the onions
  • Add the white vinegar and wait approximately 1 minute or until the mixture is cool before you start mixing everything together.
  • I find the best tool for mixing this is your hands. The cabbage will feel very stiff in the beginning and it will look like you do not have enough brine at first. While you are mixing the slaw together, you should use your hand and give the cabbage a few firm squeezes. This will release some water from the cabbage and soften it faster.
  • Enjoy as is as a lightly pickled slaw or as a topping on the same day, or put it in the fridge to let the flavors meld a bit more! :)


  • It will look like there isn't enough brine before you start mixing  everything together (before the salt draws out the water from the cabbage) but in case you plan to jar it and you need more brine, the brine can be easily doubled.
  • Storage life of this slaw is a week.
  • Keeping the onions at the very top so that the boiled water slightly cooks it gives the onion less of a sharp raw onion kick and makes the slightly sweeter.
  • I use hot water not boiling water. If you are heating your water from a kettle let it sit for 5 minutes to slightly cool it before pouring it over the slaw.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1745mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g