Cortido (Latin American Sauerkraut)


Sauerkraut, because of its European heritage, is a popular fermented vegetable here in North America. But sometimes a little something different is in order. Cortido is similar to sauerkraut in that it is a lacto-fermented cabbage but it is spiced up with flavors from Latin America.

How you make this really depends on what you have on hand. You could omit the carrots and up the cabbage, or cut back on the onions, and you might want to throw some garlic in the mix, as noted below in the ingredients.

Whichever way you make it be sure it includes cabbage, oregano, onion, and red pepper flakes for that Latin American flavor. Excellent served alongside grilled meat or as part of a spread of taco fixings.


  • 1 large cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise and very finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon whey


  1. In a large bowl mix cabbage with carrots, onions, garlic (if using), oregano, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and whey.
  2. Pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer for about 10 minutes to release juices.
  3. Place in two quart-size, wide-mouth mason jars and press down firmly with a pounder or meat hammer until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage mixture should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jars.
  4. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 to 10 days, depending on temperature, before transferring to cold storage.
Homemade Cortido

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