What Is Curtido? And How Can It Help Balance Your Gut

If you’re from the Massive Apple, you recognize that getting a scorching canine at Yankee Stadium means it’ll be coated with no less than one in all two issues: a great deal of mustard and/or a heaping pile of sauerkraut. There’s simply one thing concerning the candy and tangy fermented cabbage that makes it an prompt residence run when paired with the mushy bun and juicy ballpark canine. *Chef’s kiss.*

However except for basic ballpark grub—like pretzels and cheese—there are just a few different combos that merely go higher collectively, like these dynamic duos: spaghetti and meatballs, chocolate and low, bagels and smoked salmon, tamari and mirin, simply to call just a few. In El Salvador and different areas of Central America, curtido, a sort of fermented slaw, is a type of condiments that tastes nice by itself however even higher when paired along with one other scrumptious meals… particularly pupusas. So, what precisely is curtido, and the way can this fermented slaw assist steadiness your intestine microbiome? Learn on to search out out.

What’s curtido?

Curtido is a fermented slaw made with elements like cabbage, carrots, purple onions, vinegar, oregano, and salt. It’s generally consumed throughout Central America, notably in El Salvador, as a topping for meals like pupusas, the Salvadoran nationwide dish comprised of corn flour and filled with elements like beans, cheese, or beef. (FYI, they will simply be made utilizing solely plant-based elements, like this vegan pupusa recipe by The Acutely aware Plant Kitchen). Curtido could be made as a fast pickle that may be consumed inside just a few hours or additional fermented to boost its taste and probiotic advantages.

Well being advantages of curtido

Apart from including crunch, tanginess, and a great deal of taste to dishes like pupusas, curtido additionally boasts a formidable checklist of well being advantages. The principle ingredient on this easy condiment is cabbage, which is nice for coronary heart well being, circulation, and digestion (it’s additionally full of nutritional vitamins Okay and C and has over two grams of fiber per 100-gram serving). The dish can also be made with vitamin A- and vitamin C-rich carrots, which assist promote eye well being and immunity.

Nevertheless, one of many essential advantages of this fermented meals is that it’s full of prebiotic fiber in addition to insoluble fiber from the cabbage (which, in contrast to soluble fiber, is not damaged down by the physique earlier than reaching the small gut). Why does this matter? Effectively, because it travels via the small intestines, it helps feed the wholesome intestine micro organism to advertise a more healthy intestine microbiome. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re seeking to additionally get prebiotic’s associate in crime—probiotics—from this fermented meals, you’ll have to contemplate the way it’s ready. In spite of everything, not all fermented meals truly comprise probiotics; many store-bought variations of frequent fermented meals (corresponding to kimchi, sauerkraut, and curtido) have undergone warmth therapy for meals security measures, which is able to enormously diminish their probiotic potential. When comprised of scratch, nonetheless, you are much more prone to reap these essential microbiome-boosting advantages.

Learn how to make curtido

After all, each household, chef, or prepare dinner, has their very own distinctive approach of constructing this basic condiment. Nevertheless, most sorts comprise a combination of thinly-sliced cabbage, carrots, and purple onion. Plus, a combination of oregano, bay leaves, salt, and vinegar (like ACV) for flavoring and pickling. For those who like a little bit warmth, add just a few chiles to the combo, like jalapeños or crushed purple pepper—like on this spicy curtido recipe by Pinch and Swirl—for an additional kick of anti-inflammatory advantages, too.

To make, begin by shortly blanching the cabbage and onion in boiling scorching water for a couple of minutes, then shock the veggies in an ice water bathtub to cease them from additional cooking to take care of their crunchy texture. Subsequent, toss the greens collectively and place them in a big glass container together with the flavoring elements. As soon as mixed, the combination will get coated with cool, filtered water to let the pickling and fermentation start within the fridge. If pressed for time, you’ll be able to eat the curtido inside just some hours, or you’ll be able to enable the slaw to ferment additional within the fridge for just a few days for much more flavoring potential. This dish could be loved for as much as per week when stored in a coated container within the fridge.

what is curtido
Photograph: Pinch and Swirl

Fermented curtido recipe

Yields 4 servings


1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dry Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp crushed purple pepper or 1 jalapeño chili, thinly sliced
1/4 head inexperienced cabbage finely chopped or shredded
1 medium carrot shredded and peeled (non-compulsory)
2 inexperienced onions thinly sliced, or white onion

1. Whisk collectively water, vinegar, salt, oregano, and crushed purple pepper collectively in a big bowl. Add cabbage, carrot, and inexperienced onions; toss to mix and coat evenly. Let stand for half-hour.

2. Toss curtido once more and function a contemporary slaw or pile right into a clear canning jar. Pack down in a jar with a muddler or different blunt software in order that the liquid is even or above the slaw. Cowl and let stand at room temperature for twenty-four hours. Serve or refrigerate for as much as one week.

Need to be taught extra concerning the hyperlink between intestine well being and fermentation? Watch this:

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