The first time I made curtido Salvadoran slaw, I was using a not-so-hot recipe and the results were very vinegar-y. For Honduran, Cuban and Salvadoran recipes, you will find many versions online of the most used recipes. You have to eat each food (prepared by someone else) a few times, then try several recipes until you settle on the ones you and your family really like. Mr. Key Lime and I like this curtido. It’s great with pupusas and Latin tomato sauce, and also as a side with Cubanos and other sandwiches. It could even be used as a topping inside your vegan burgers and sandwiches.
It’s simple to make, you just have to plan ahead a little. This slaw is refrigerated for at least one hour after making, but putting it in the fridge overnight is preferred. The longer you are able to let the slaw flavors blend, the better it will taste. We had our curtido in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days as we slowly ate it through the week (since there are only two of us). It was very tasty right up to the end.
You can vary quite a few ingredients in this recipe. For example you can use fresh jalapenos or pickled ones. I used the pickled slices and estimated that 10 to 12 slices would equal about two whole jalapenos. Be sure to remove the seeds and membrane from fresh jalapenos before chopping. Most slaws and curtidos use shredded carrots, but it’s just so easy to shave carrots using a potato peeler, I shave my carrots whenever possible. Shaving the carrots changes the look of the slaw slightly, with larger pieces of carrot visible. It’s a personal choice!
I know some people are really anti-cilantro! I love it, so I use it heavily when I cook and even get cravings for it. But, if you hate it, you can omit it. If you’re making curtido for guests, though, maybe split the batch and make one curtido with cilantro and one without.
This recipe is from Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero. It’s so good and yummy, I know you’ll love it. It’s a great stand alone side dish for the entire summer. It’s perfect for picnics, barbeques, and potlucks.