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Spicy and Flavorful Marinated Carrot Salad
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Spicy and Flavorful Marinated Carrot Salad

carrot salad in a bowl

This carrot salad is a Korean dish, but it is mostly known outside the Korean peninsula. This salad was developed by Korean settlers who created their own version of Kimchi.


Its main ingredient, Napa cabbage, was not available in their new habitat.

napa cabbage
Napa cabbage

So, they recreated Kimchi from scratch, using carrots instead and adopting local cooking traditions. Not only did they replace Napa cabbage for carrots, but the whole recipe also became quite different from the original one of Kimchi. This way marinated carrot salad became a new dish.

carrot salad in a bowl

It can be prepared in a variety of ways, but usually it is not too hot and spicy. Instead, it has a rather flavorful and deep savory taste. Also, as we know, beta-carotene, rich in carrots, is better absorbed with oils.

This salad takes an hour or so to make. However, it will only improve if left for a day or so in the fridge to marinate.

You will need:

  • 5 cups carrots 
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Himalayan salt or more to taste
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sugar or more to taste
  • 2 white onions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar or more to taste
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Spices to taste: paprika, cayenne pepper, cardamom, coriander, curcuma, black pepper, white pepper

Grate the carrots. The finer the mesh, the faster it will marinade. Add salt and sugar, mix well and set aside for 30-40 minutes to release the juice.

draining the juice after marination

In the meantime, chop the onions. Onions will be discarded in the end, so it doesn’t matter much how you chop them.

chopped onion in a pan

Pour olive oil onto the frying pan, add chopped onions, set to medium heat and sauté until the onion is golden.

caramelized onion on a pan

Add soy sauce and continue sautéing. Drain carrot juice from the grated carrots and add it to the onion.

caramelized onion on a pan with spices

Add vinegar and minced garlic to the carrots, mix well.

add minced garlic to the carrots

Add spices as well, mix well.

add spices

Continue sautéing the onion until the watery juice evaporates and the onion turns brownish.

oil separation from the onion

Separate the onion from the oil and dispose. Add paprika and cayenne pepper to the oil and mix well. Set to low heat for a few minutes, stirring well.

add paprika to the oil

Remove from heat and pour the oil onto the carrots, mix all well.

carrots with oil and spices

Taste your salad. You may want to fine-tune it by adding vinegar, salt, sugar and any of the mentioned spices.

add spices to fine tune

Let it cool down in the fridge. Once cooled down, it is ready.

ready salad

As already mentioned above, this carrot salad will get better if left to marinate 1-2 days in the fridge. 

carrot salad in a bowl

Carrot salad can be served in a variety of ways! Also try beetroot salad!

carrots and beets salads over a croissant 2
carrots and beets salads in croissants


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