Curtido De Repollo - El Salvadorean Cabbage Salad

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 0 mins

This spicy Salvadoreno coleslaw is the traditional zesty topping for pupusas (thick corn tortillas stuffed with cheese). You can also try serving it with fish or black beans, inside burritos or on top of quesadillas.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Using a hand-grater or the grater attachment of your food processor, shred cabbage, carrots and onion.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Use the back of a wooden spoon to press all the ingredients down so they are submerged in liquid.
  4. Allow to rest at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving, ideally for at least 4-6 hours.
  5. Serve with pupusas, or as a topping for fish, quesadillas, or other dishes.
Most Helpful

I tried this recipe. I don't know about the sugar and the oil, I suppose it depends on one's taste. But I'll guarantee you that's not what they use in authentic curtido in El Salvador.<br/>Also, the cayenne pepper. Much better to throw in a handful of dry chile japones or chile de arbol. Also, go ahead and try to reduce a whole head of cabbage with a grater. Good luck!! The curtido in the pupusarias is not grated, it's simply cut up on a board with a large knife. A kraut cutter works the best. Curtido needs to have a rough texture, not grated into oblivion.<br/>But, one critical thing I noticed: The recipe says to let set 5-6 HOURS. I think they meant 5-6 DAYS, not hours. If you let it set for a few DAYS you'll have a juicy curtido, like sauerkraut, and it'll taste as it should. In 5-6 hours, all you'll have is shredded cabbage in vinegar, not curtido. If you've ever eaten in the "pupuserias" you'll will have seen that the "curtido" is in large jars sitting out on the counter in the heat and is to some degree fermented. If you're going for the real deal, add a dessicated house fly or two to your curtido. (joke) (kind of)<br/>This recipe was pretty obviously written by someone who never actually tried it, or at least had no idea what curtido should taste like. We owned a pupusaria in Santa Tecla back in the '70's. A small one, but it was a money maker, crowded in the evenings and on the weekends. I well know how curtido is made and how it should taste.<br/>Now, what they do in Guatemala or Honduras I don't know, nor less care. Western El Salvador is where pupusas originated as far as I know, so that's what I go with.<br/>I think what this is, is an attempt to create a recipe for "curtido al instante." Forget it, make REAL curtido. It's good!!

Allen W. September 08, 2014

This has the most amazing flavor. It met the seal of approval w/ the in-laws so I know I'm not delusional. I only did half the head of cabbage but needed the full amount of additional ingredients to get the cabbage, carrot & onion actually submerged in the liquid. Chopping the cabbage in thin slices w/ a big knife was so much easier than trying to grate it. Thanks for the great recipe. Will make this again & again.

Oribell October 25, 2011

Nice. I made a half batch to serve with pupusas. The other family members did not care for it, but they tend not to like cider vinegar.

Donut Chef October 09, 2010