International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Curtido Recipe (Salvadoran cabbage salad)

(Salvadoran cabbage salad)

Image Creative Commons by The DLC

Average: 2.8 (161 votes)

Curtido is a simple cabbage salad traditionally served with pupusas. Large jars of curtido are kept at restaurants and sides of the slaw are served with most meals. Curtido is usually allowed to ferment slightly at room temperature before serving, becoming a kind of Salvadoran sauerkraut.

Cabbage salads are served through Central America. The Nicaraguan version is known as ensalada de repollo or simply repollo.

4 to 6 servings


  • Cabbage, shredded -- 1/2 head
  • Carrot, peeled and grated -- 1
  • Boiling water -- 4 cups
  • Scallions, minced -- 3
  • White vinegar -- 1/2 cup
  • Water -- 1/2 cup
  • Jalapeño or serrano chile pepper, minced -- 1
  • Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon


  1. Place the cabbage and carrots in a large heat-proof bowl. Pour the boiling water into the bowl to cover the cabbage and carrots and set aside for about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as possible.
  2. Return the cabbage and carrots to the bowl and toss with the remaining of the ingredients. Let set at room temperature for a couple hours if you like. Then chill and serve as an accompaniment to pupusas or as a side dish.

Curtido Variations

  • Ensalada de Repollo (Nicaragua): add a chopped tomato or two and substitute lime juice for the vinegar.
  • Try using vinagre de piña instead of white vinegar.
  • Substitute 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes for the chile pepper.
  • A pinch of sugar and a little oil can be added to the salad if you like.


Sorrel is also called roselle, but it is a red flower that blooms in the winter, just in time for Christmas. Hibiscus is a different flower that you have pictured here. It is not sorrel and it is not used to make the sorrel drink that is fermented and made at Christmastime.

The scientific name of sorrel — or roselle or jamaica — is Hibiscus sabdariffa. I've replaced the picture with a better one though. The new one shows the swollen calyxes as they are harvested instead of a fully bloomed flower. Sorrel flowers are white with a red center. Previously I had a picture of an all-red flower.

It would be nice to show the full tree to see how pretty the flowers look when ripen on the tree.
There is also a white sorrel which makes a tasty drink too. Especially with a little Jamaian white rum.

Which is it? i'm a little confused what is the health properties? eg. rich in vit c etc.

This site is the first I've come across so far that clarifies that our Caribbean 'sorrel' is not the same sorrel that is rich in oxalic acid.

In nigeria,we add fresh pineapple or pineapple flavour. Taste alot better