Fermented curtido remains one of my favorite ferments. I love it’s flavor, versatility and ease of preparation. While I’ve posted a curtido recipe here before, I wanted to share another way of preparing it, more like a slaw, which lends itself to alternative ways of serving. it’s especially easy to make if you have a food processor, although a hand grater works fine too. I used red cabbage (I still don’t know if it’s best to call it purple cabbage) rather than the traditional green cabbage, partly because I love the intensity of the color when it’s done, but also because it packs more of a nutritional punch. I wrote some more about the nutritional benefits of red cabbage in an earlier post if you are curious
Please note that when making slaw-slyle ferments, it is especially helpful to use a fermenting crock or airlock as the small pieces naturally want to float to the surface, making for a greater chance of surface mold. I’ve made this a few times now and one time while using the jar-in-a-jar technique (which I depict below) I ended up with mold and had to discard. I’ve since committed to making this in a fermenting crock to consistently more positive results. Making this using an airlock such as in this kit from MasonTops is definitely advised.
Fermentation Time: 3-7 days although you could allow it to go longer
- 1 head red (purple) cabbage, shredded
- 1 medium onion, shredded
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
- 3/4 Tbsp dried Mexican oregano (Italian fine but I prefer the flavor of Mexican for this recipe)
- Prepare vegetables - shred the cabbage, onion and carrots and place in a large bowl. Dice the jalapeño and add to bowl.
- Toss with salt - add the salt and oregano and toss
- Let it sit - Let it sit for 30 minutes or so until it begins to sweat
- Place all ingredients in a fermentation vessel - you can use a fermenting crock, or perhaps a 1 gallon Anchor Hocking Jar. Don't forget to include any liquid that may have leached from the veggies.
- Compress - Use your fist to compress the mix into the bottom of the vessel, encouraging the level of the liquid to rise. I love these Pickle Packers which make compressing veggies much easier.
- Place a weight directly on top of the mix - the point of this is to further the extraction of liquid from the veggies.
- Cover with the lid to your crock, or with a cloth
- Ensure liquid is covering the veggies - Within 8-10 hours, there should be enough extracted liquid in the container to cover the veggies completely. Add a little water if necessary to make sure the veggies are covered by an inch of liquid. If adding water, mix it thoroughly again to give the salt a chance to fully integrate into the additional liquid
- Allow to ferment 3-5 days - This ferments fairly quickly to the point where the flavor is delicious in a relatively short time. You can of course ferment it longer and it will simply grow more sour Should you decide to allow it to ferment longer (up to several weeks) , it will continue to grow more sour.
- Jar it up - When ready, jar it up and refrigerate to significantly slow the fermentation
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Other Articles of Interest
Why Everyone Should Ferment with an Airlock
Kale Curtido Salad
What are PREbiotics and Why Should I Care
Serve it as a simple side salad, as a healthy topping to football game nachos, or a garnish along with traditional pupusas. I like to put it (or any sort of fermented cabbage dish really) as a topping to dosas.
I also posted a recipe for mixing this curtido with diced kale in making a delicious salad. You can check that recipe out here.