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Curtido Acid Swap

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm always looking for cole slaw ideas, and recently, while chasing down some cole slaw recipes and ides, the Latin American dish, similar to cole slaw in some respects, came to my attention. After looking at about a dozen recipes for curtido I found that the acid in all cases was vinegar. Here's a typical ingredient list and technique:

head of cabbage, chopped
Grated carrots
small onion, sliced
a litle dried red pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
some olive oil
brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water

Blanch the cabbage in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and drain water. Put cabbage in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, including water. Put everything in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
What I'd like to do is lose the vinegar and freshen up the dish with lemon or lime juice, and maybe change the dried pepper to a nice, fresh pepper. The question is this: should the citrus juice replace the vinegar 1:1? I'm thinking probably less citrus as it's more intense than vinegar. Any thoughts on the acid swap?

post #2 of 3
Shel compadre,

Typically curtido is put on top of whatever you're going to eat, rather than along side. So match the acid to the dish. The great thing about acid level is that it's easy to adjust by (wait for it) adding more acid. Since the citrus is a little less acidic than vinegar, I'd swap 1 to 1, and add more as needed.

For what it's worth, curtido is not usually partnered with wildly hot food -- think Salvadorean and Guatemalan. Think pupusas. You typically see it with food which comes with a very mild "hot sauce." Again, think of that thin, red stuff you get with pupusas. You can be as tipical as all get out, while staying safe and sane with the pepper. On the other hand, Central American food isn't notorious for rules. Knock yourself out.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I figured I'd hear from you :smiles:. I understand about the typical pairings with curtido although I'd probably eat it by itself as well. There's a woman who has a little Salvadoran restaurant (dive, hole-in-the-wall) out in Richmond set near a freeway exit. She sure can cook, and her pupusas are incredible, all hand made. You can watch her slap those puppies around as she prepares them for your lunch or dinner. It's about time to pay her a visit ... Thanks!

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