Fermented Red Cabbage Curtido

All the ingredients ready to make Fermented Red Cabbage Curtido

This Fermented Red Cabbage Curtido is similar to sauerkraut, but with a chilli kick. A Central American version of sauerkraut, in El Salvador,s is it usually made with cabbage, carrots, onions and oregano, but in Belize, they add habanero chillis. My version uses red cabbage, I love the colour, and jalapenos as I grow them too. There are many widely recognised health benefits of eating fermented foods, but we add curtido to many meals just because it’s delicious. Fermenting is also an easy way to preserve cabbage when they are all ready to harvest at once.


Fermented Red Cabbage Curtido


  • 1kg shredded red cabbage
  • 1 medium size carrot, grated
  • 1-2  jalapeno or other type of chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 medium red onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
  • 20g sea salt


Prepare your ingredients

Combine cabbage, carrot, onion and chilli in a mixing bowl then mix though the cumin seeds and oregano.

Sprinkle with sea salt and gently massage the vegetable mixture with clean hands for about 8 minutes or until the cabbage softens and starts to release moisture.

Transfer the mixture to a sterilised fermenter. Use fermenting weights or a small sterilised glass jar filled with water to weigh the cabbage mixture below the moisture line.

Use sterilised long utensils like tongs, to turn the mixture daily to ensure the liquid is evenly distributed. It will be ready to eat in 5 days, but this is affected by the weather, faster when warm and slower when it’s colder.

Taste the Curtido to decide whether it‘s ready, it should have a pleasantly sour flavour. Transfer to a sterilised jar or container and keep in the fridge for up to a month.


It’s quick, cheap and easy to make a fermenter at home, learn how to here.



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