Russian Korean Carrot Salad Recipe called morkovcha (Морковь по-корейски) is popular salad and side dish across Russia, Ukraine and the former Soviet states. Simple to make, a healthy salad that your whole family will love. It's not a hearty salad like the famous Russian Olivier Potato Salad, but popular in the same way!
This Carrot Salad recipe isn't a true Korean Carrot Salad recipe, but a Russian variation from ethnic Koreans who lived in Russia's Far East. The Korean Russians adapted their recipes to foods that were available. In this case, carrots grew well in Central Asia where the Koreans were resettled.
The funny thing is that this Carrot Salad recipe isn't known in Korea. It's really a Russian Carrot Salad by called Korean by name. Invented by Russian Koreans outside of Korea. But let's not complicate a good thing.
How to Slice Thin Carrots
The key to this carrot salad recipe to to have thinly sliced carrots. You could carefully cut them by hand, but that takes forever. To slice them thinly, use a mandolin slicer or a Julienne Peeler. The special Julienne Peeler looks similar to a regular vegetable peeler, but instead strips the carrots into long thin strips. I prefer using this method as it's easy to clean up. However, the mandolin is the fastest way to prepare the carrots, just don't cut your fingers! Supermarkets also sell bags of julienned carrots which is a great time saver!
How to make Korean Carrot Salad
After preparing the carrots, the other important pieces of this recipe is the spices. You can buy Korean Salad spices in Russian stores, but it's easy to make your own. You can use ground coriander, or just crush up whole coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle. I think it works better using whole coriander seeds, I love the fragrance of freshly pounded spices. Homemade Korean Carrot Spice is a mix of salt, sugar, black pepper, coriander seeds, and cayenne pepper. For a spicier Carrot Salad, add extra cayenne pepper to taste.
If you're reading this from South Africa, Ina Paarman's Seasoned Sea Salt seasoning is great for this recipe, as it has all the spices required already premixed. Just add to taste, with extra coriander or cayenne as needed. Be careful not to make it too salty us using this African seasoning salt.
The final bit of making Korean Carrot Salad is to caramelize some onions. This is pretty unusual for most salads, but that's where extra flavor comes from! Some recipes use onions to just flavor the oil when frying, and then discard the onions. I find that a waste of flavor. I sauté the onions and mix it into the carrot salad with the hot oil.
Finally when you mix it all together, you ad some white vinegar. Like most salad dressings, they are made with oil and vinegar, but this Carrot Salad is just made a little bit differently!
How Long in Advance to Make Korean Carrot Salad?
This salad is best when made at least 1 day ahead, to allow the flavors to meld together. It should be served cold, and not warm from the hot oil. Just keep it in the fridge until you're ready to serve!
Other Famous Russian Salads You Need To Try!
- Olivier Potato Salad (Olivye)
- Vinegret Beet Salad
- Radish Cucumber Salad
- Rice and Fish Salad
- Rustic Cucumber Tomato Salad
A delicious Carrot Salad recipe from Russia, with roots of Korean immigrants. Thinly julienned carrots with garlic, vinegar, spices and onions in hot oil. A family favorite. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Korean Carrot Salad Recipe
- 2 lbs /1kg carrots julienned
- 5 tablespoons oil
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds ground in pestle mortar
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or more for spicy
- 2½ tablespoons vinegar
- Peel the carrots, and julienne them using a mandolin slicer or julienne peeler. You can manually slice them into thin pieces, but using a mandolin slicer will be quicker. The longer the carrot strand, the better.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and fry until caramelized. Remove from heat.
- Add the salt, sugar, black pepper, coriander, cayenne and garlic to the fried onions. Mix until combined.
- Pour hot oil and onions onto the carrot mix well. Add vinegar and refrigerate until it's cool you're ready to serve.