Recipe: 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.


  • 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 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1-3 Tbsp. sea salt


  1. In a large bowl mix cabbage with carrots, onions, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, sea salt.
  2. Pound with a Cabbage Crusher or wooden pounder for about 10 minutes to release juices.
  3. Place in clean glass jars and press down firmly 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 the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
  5. Culture at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor and texture are achieved. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure.
  6. Once the cortido is finished,put a tight lid on the jar and move to cold storage. The flavor will continue to develop as it ages.

At A Glance

PREP: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 20 minutes
YIELD: Makes about 2 quarts