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Onion and tomato curtido salad/salsa {Curtido de cebolla y tomate}

Curtido de cebolla y tomate or onion and tomato curtido salsa

This is my easy recipe for curtido de cebolla y tomate or onion and tomato curtido salsa/salad. Curtido is a Latin style lime pickled red onion and tomato salad or lime marinated onion tomato salsa. Most South American main meals will be served with a small salad, and many times this salad will be a curtido or a lime marinated based salsa.

The most basic form of curtido is a basic onion curtido or cebollas encurtidas, it is great nice and fresh, but sometimes it is even better the day after. I usually make a large batch and keep in the fridge, adding it to salads as needed.

Red onion and tomato salsa or curtido

Receta En Español

Onion and tomato salsa

Onion and tomato curtido salsa/salad {Curtido de cebolla y tomate}

Recipe for curtido de cebolla y tomate, a Latin style lime pickled red onion and tomato salad or lime marinated onion tomato salsa
4.82 from 342 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Salad, Salsa, Side Dish
Cuisine: Ecuadorian, Latin
Keyword: Cilantro, Curtido, Ecuadorian pickled onion salsa, Encurtido, Lime, Marinated, Red onions, Tomato onion salsa
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 portions


  • 2 small red onions
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon oil light olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon salt + more to adjust taste


  • Slice the red onions very thinly using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer.
  • Sprinkle the sliced onions with 1 tablespoon salt and rub the salt into the onions.
  • Cover the onions with cold water and rinse well until the salt is removed. If the onions are very strong then you can let them rest in the water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Drain the onions and place them in a bowl.
  • Add the lime juice and a sprinkle of salt, let rest until the onions start to turn pinkish, about 5-10 minutes.
  • The tomatoes can be sliced thinly or diced. Add the tomatoes to the onion curtido mix.
  • Add the oil and the chopped cilantro. Mix well, taste and add additional salt to taste if needed.


Curtido variations can also include thinly sliced carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes, etc.
To turn this curtido into a complete salad, serve over chopped lettuce or salad greens and add avocado slices.

This variation of curtido or salsa is made with of red onion and tomato. The onions and tomatoes are sliced thinly and marinated with lime juice and cilantro. In Ecuador, this salsa is a must-have side for traditional dishes such as hornado or roasted pork, encebollado de pescado, fritada, menestra con arroz, carne colorada, etc. This onion tomato salsa is also great as an appetizer or snack paired with plantain chips or with regular corn chips. 

Curtido de cebolla y tomate

Other popular curtido variations can also include different thinly sliced vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes, etc – most curtidos will at least have lime marinaated onions plus another vegetable/fruit. This tomato and onion curtido recipe is also a great base for a salad: simply add lettuce or salad greens, avocado slices, maybe some grilled shrimp and you have a wonderful salad.

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  1. This looked too easy to be any good but WOW, was I ever wrong!! This came together quickly (by carefully using my mandolin for the onions) and then just putting it all together was so easy and this is a really delicious dish! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to speak of the next day flavor as everyone here is really digging in. Thank you for sharing this!!

  2. Also this recipe is delicious and made it into the culinary world travel group. Your recipes are amazing, thank you!

    greets Wilma from Pane-Bistecca

  3. So so happy I found your website looking for pickled red onions ! Of course I was doing them all wrong and now I know, to soak in lemon and rinse first . Vs the European pickled onions in vinegar salt and sugar.
    My husband is Ecuadorian and I would like to be able to cook him some of his home foods. And he loves these on thin sliced fried plantains
    Thanks Again !!

  4. Hi Laylita I love your recipes, and you make in very simple way than doesn’t require for a chef trying to make any of your dishes. Thanks for sharing your culinary treats .CONGRATS YOUR ARE THE BEST.

  5. Me fascinan tus recetas y las fotos ayudan mucho!! Gracias desde Colorado!! You inspire me to cook delicious food!! :)

  6. Love this, my exhusbands Tia would make a version of this called, Ahi ? just the onions and spcies and lime juice and we would use it almost as a salsa to top on all of our foods. I adore Ecuadorian food, fresh and tasty.

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