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Mexican Coleslaw (or Cortido Salad)

It’s January, and you’re most likely thinking one of two things:

  1. You need to eat more vegetables because of a resolution made just days ago.
  2. You are desperate for something fresh using seasonal produce.

If that’s you then this salad, served alongside something like enchiladas or Mexican meatloaf, is for you. Any leftovers can be used to run double duty as a filling in tacos or burritos with some meat or beans.

Green onions and cilantro are two things that one can grow fairly easily this time of year with the use of a cold frame or even a warm, sunny window. If you’ve planned ahead you could be digging your carrots either from the ground or a bucket of sand in your cellar. The cabbage is another item you may have set in the cellar for the winter to come.

Our cabbages never survived the onslaught of attacks from the grasshoppers over summer, so I seek out heads of cabbage when they go on sale for $.30 or less. I make sauerkraut, cortido, and salads like this, which mimic the El Salvadorean cultured cabbage cortido in flavor.

It adds a lovely crunch and tang to whatever warm, heavy dish you prepare for your family during this earliest month of the year.

Print Recipe

Mexican Coleslaw (or Cortido Salad)

Course: Salad

Serves: 1


  • 1 small head of green cabbage sliced thinly and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup minced cilantro
  • 4 green onion diced (green + white parts)
  • 1 medium carrot diced small
  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne or chipotle powder (this is my favorite source)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano crumbled (1/4 tsp if other oregano)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss with your hands. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Let sit 15 minutes before serving to allow flavors to meld.

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