Curtido (aka. The Best Coleslaw Ever)

While we were up on Lake Huron this summer, I had the opportunity to spend a little more time in the kitchen than usual.  So I embarked upon a kitchen adventure: making pupusas.  You may remember pupusas from my post about Emporium Latino in Kensington Market.  They are Salvadoran corn breads stuffed with savoury fillings, and my favourite combination is beans and cheese.  I love eating pupusas when we’re out, so I thought I’d try my hand at making them at home.

Well, the pupusas worked out just fine, but they weren’t terribly photogenic.  So I’m holding off on sharing my pupusa recipe until I can make them in the daylight, and my rolling technique improves to make them a bit prettier.

But what was perfectly delicious and photogenic was the pupusa side dish: Curtido.  Curtido is a Salvadoran vinegar-based coleslaw that just makes my mouth water.  It’s the perfect blend of sour and sweet, and I’m really glad to have a recipe that I truly love and can make at home.  Also, it’s really easy, you just have to remember to make it a couple hours before you want to eat it, so the flavours can come together in the fridge.

This version of Curtido uses Mexican oregano (check out my Hummusalsa post for more than you ever wanted to know on Mexican oregano), but if you don’t have any, “regular oregano” (aka. Mediterranean oregano) will work out just fine in its place.

When I’ve got one of those weeks where I don’t have a lot of extra time, I tend to buy a bag of preshredded “coleslaw mix”.  I like the ones that have cabbage and a bit of shredded carrot — if you use that here, you can have the coleslaw ready to be refrigerated without much prep time.  Otherwise, I tend to shred cabbage in my food processor.  I’ll shred the whole head of cabbage, use half in the coleslaw, and then keep the other half in the fridge to toss into stirfries, soups, and kale salads.

And so… I proudly present my favourite coleslaw recipe!

Curtido (Vinegar Coleslaw) |

Curtido (aka. The Best Coleslaw Ever)
Adapted from The Kitchn, Makes about 4 cups

  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. brown sugar (or 1/2 tsp. maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano (or 1 tsp. oregano)
  • 1 tsp. dried red chili flakes

Combine the vegetables (cabbage, carrot, and red onion) in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, water, salt, sugar, oregano, and chili flakes.  Pour the vinegar mixture over the veggies, and use your hands to coat the vegetables with the vinegar mixture.

Cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

Serve cold and enjoy!

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Categories: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian


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4 Comments on “Curtido (aka. The Best Coleslaw Ever)”

  1. October 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    This looks so simple and delicious! I love a good slaw.

  2. October 22, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    I tried a vegan cole slaw sandwich at this popular vegan restaurant in Buenos Aires and it tasted so bland and the bread was so dry and crumbly! Quite disappointing! What a lovely recipe for “Curtido” without the necessary mayo, I bet it is tasty with shredded jicama and in that “sandwich” I had today!


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