All around the world, fermented cabbage has been a life sustaining bridge between the fall harvest and the first green shoots of spring. There's Eastern Europe's sauerkraut, Korea's kimchi, and Latin America's lightly fermented curtido. This spicy slaw is a riff on that last condiment; it's sweet but not too funky, and perfect alongside grilled fish or as a condiment for tacos. To ferment cabbage, you have to thinly slice and massage it with salt to force the water out of the vegetable and create a brine. Within a few days, the acidifying activity of several strains of bacteria (including Lactobacillus) will start transforming it into this sweetly sour and spicy condiment. This recipe first appeared in our October 2011 issue.
- 1 cup carrots, cut into 1"-long matchsticks
- 1 tbsp. kosher or sea salt
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 2 medium red onions, very thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 large head (about 2 1/2 lb.) green cabbage, cored and shredded