Spicy Korean Carrots – Morkovcha
Spicy Korean Carrots – a mix of garlic, coriander, hot oil, and other spices transform the carrots into something unbelievable! This easy and delicious side carrot salad (Morkovcha) goes great with any grilled meat, fish, or pilaf.
Roasted Bell Peppers, Aromatic Cured Salmon Recipe, and Garlicky Creamy Beetroot Salad are some other great sides you would enjoy!
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History of the Korean Salad (Morkovcha)
First off, I want to clear the air and inform the authenticity police (ha!) that these Spicy Korean Carrots have nothing to do with Korea or Korean cuisine.
The history of this Korean Salad salad is twisted, but some say that Korean immigrants that immigrated to the former Soviet Union were just trying to recreate Kimchi with whatever ingredients that they now had and this was how Morkovcha or Spicy Korean Carrots came to be.
Morkovcha is a play on the Russian word for carrots – which is morkovka.
What to serve the Carrot Salad with?
- The Carrot Salad recipe goes very well with any kind of grilled meat (like this chicken or pork) or fish (salmon kabobs, anyone?).
- It is also pretty much a must as a side for Plov (Beef Rice).
- This Russian Carrot Salad is commonly served as an appetizer or a zakuska at many Slavic holiday gatherings.
Can Korean Salad be made ahead?
This Korean Salad can be made right before serving or hours/days in advance. I prefer it after the flavors have had a chance to mend, which for me happens after an overnight trip to the fridge (for the carrots, of course).
Spicy Korean Carrots
Yield: 4-6 cups
Ingredients for Spicy Korean Salad
- julienned carrots (julienne using this or this julienne slicer)
- kosher salt (use less if using table salt)
- granulated sugar
- smoked paprika (NOT hot smoked paprika)
- cayenne pepper
- ground coriander seeds
- cloves garlic, peeled & pressed
- freshly ground black pepper
- white vinegar
- large onion, diced
- virgin olive oil, heated until almost smoking (grapeseed oil works well too)
How to make Spicy Korean Salad – Morkovcha
- Start by peeling and julienning carrots using a julienne slicer.
- Now add everything but the olive oil to a bowl. Mix and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a skillet, add diced onions and sauté until the onions are golden in color. Move skillet off the heat and tilt it to the side allowing the hot oil to pool at the bottom. Pour 1/2 cup of the hot oil into a measuring cup with a long handle, or a small sauce pot with a long handle. Discard the rest of the oil and onions or use them for a different recipe. The oil must be thoroughly heated until almost smoking before adding to the salad.
- Add the oil into the carrots a bit at a time, mixing with a large fork after each addition. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
The Spicy Korean Carrots are done and ready to be consumed. It is recommended that the carrots marinate for at least 6-12 hours before eating though for the best flavor profile. To store, transfer to a closed container and keep in the fridge up to a week.
My favorites to enjoy this Carrot Salad with!
- Ribeye Pilaf with Cranberry & Garlic Green Beans – The Spicy Carrot Salad is a traditional side to Pilaf (Plov).
- Grill Pan Flat Iron Steak – Grilled Meat + Carrot Salad = Love forever 😃
- 30 Minute Meal – Kabob Style Pork and Vegetables – Quick Kabob Recipe with no grill required!
- Olivier Salad to Korean Carrots is like peanut butter to jelly 😀 – perfection!
Spicy Korean Carrots
Spicy Korean carrots made with a mix of garlic, coriander, hot oil, and other great spices.
- 2.2 lbs julienned carrots (julienne using this or this julienne slicer) 1000 grams
- 1/2 - 1 Tbsp kosher salt use less if using table salt
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp smoked paprika or regular
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 5 cloves garlic peeled & pressed
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 large onion diced
- 2/3 cup virgin olive oil heated until almost smoking
How to make Spicy Korean Carrots
Shred carrots: Start by peeling and julienning carrots using a julienne slicer.
Mix: Now to a bowl add everything, but olive oil and onions. Mix and set aside.
Prepare the oil & onion: Heat the oil in a skillet, add diced onions and saute until the onions are golden in color. Move skillet off heat and tilt it to the side allowing the hot oil to pool at the bottom. Pour 1/2 cup of the hot oil into a measuring cup with a long handle, or a small saucepot with a long handle. The oil must be thoroughly heated until almost smoking before adding to the salad. Discard the remainder of oil and onions or use them for a different recipe.
Add the oil into the carrots a little bit at a time, mixing with a large fork after each addition. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
The Spicy Korean Carrots are done and ready to be consumed. It is recommended that they marinate for at least 6-12 hours before eating though, for best flavor profile. To store, transfer to a closed container and keep in fridge up to a week.
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UPD: June 2018
Also, can buy a ready-made seasonig for carrot at http://www.korean-caarrot.com – same way, but no cooking at all
This salad looks delightful but 457 cal for one serving seems like a lot for a little bit of oil and sugar, spices and carrots?
This salad is new to me but it’s so great !! wow I’ll do it again and share with friends.
Thanks from Quebec, Canada!
These are such an amazing side dish. I make them the night before and I don’t have to do a thing. It’s perfect for dinner, or to bring to a pot luck. The spicy works, and if you love acidic, vinegar-y things like I do, this is a real treat.
I made this salad for Thanksgiving. I topped it with Craisins and sliced almonds. Delicious!!
I made this spur-of-the-moment last night to go with the Bulgogi bowl I was making for the dinner I was hosting and people LOVED it. My husband said it’s his new favorite way to eat carrots. I didn’t read the recipe carefully enough, so I added the onions instead of discarding them, but that honestly didn’t hurt. Thanks for this fabulous recipe!
With Bulgogi rice, what a great idea! Thank you for sharing such wonderful feedback, Anika!
The instructions are confusing. Step 2 says add everything but olive oil. Later I find the onions shouldn’t have been added.
Is this a cold salad ? Just wondering is if u marinate for 6 hours do u reheat it or can it be eaten cold
Yes, this carrot salad is eaten cold.
It’s that time of year, the Christmas season and you absolutely have to have Morkovcha on the table. I come back to this recipe several times a year Bc it has the basic ingredients. I add more spice and usually triple the recipe. Thank you for getting this down for us!
Thank you so much for sharing your feedback. Wow, triple, huh? That’s quiet a lot! Happy to hear you enjoy this recipe!
This sounds great. Quick question. Do all the onions get sauteed in the oil and then get used for something else, or do some of them go in with the carrots?
Yes, all the onions get sautéed in the oil and they’re not used for anything else in this recipe, but some people do just toss them with the carrots or find a different use for them.
I just tried & loved this dish. In fact, my whole family loved it.
Ps. we had gone to Kiev and Odessa, last year. We loved everything- place, food, people ALL. The desserts…oufff…delicious.
Thank you for sharing! Love hearing that!
I had a large bag of carrots and trying to find an easy accompaniment to lettuce wraps. This recipe is delicious!!!
That’s a great idea to combine it with the lettuce wraps! Thanks for your feedback!
Pretty good but I like it better with 3-4 Tbs chimichurri sauce mixed into it.
Sounds like it should be really good!
I wanna make this carrot salad but wish to know what kinda vinegar do you use ?
You can use any mild flavored vinegar, like white vinegar or even lemon juice.
Your recipe came through an email as something I might like to pin. It looks very interesting and I’m glad you shared the story as most people would just assume it was a traditional Korean meal (my mother was from North Korea so I do understand about the migration to Russia).
I’m going to try this recipe this weekend as it sounds delicious! Another thing that others might want to try, which I will try with half of the recipe, is to add gochujang to your desired taste. This will definitely spice it up even more.
Thanks for sharing your recipe!
I needed to share the story, otherwise I would have a lot of people expressing their confusion at the origins of this recipe 😀
Let me know how you like it when you make it!
What is gouchujang? Is it something spicy?
Gochujang is a Korean hot chili paste that is a staple in Korean cooking. Here is a link for you:
Some Korean restaurants when you order Bibimbap will give non-Koreans a different sauce (some more mild) to mix in the Bibimbap. However, Koreans use the gochujang as it’s nice and spice, very flavorful. This actually happened to my daughter at our local Korean restaurant as she looks very caucasion (only 1/4 Korean, the Irish comes through more), and when she asked for gochujang they were very surprised. They brought it to her and told her that it is very hot & spicy at the same time she dumped the whole dish of it into her food. The look on their face was priceless!
More and more traditional grocery stores are starting to carry this product. My local Safeway carries it which surprised me. But if you can’t find it, go to a Korean market. Start with a small container as you may or may not like it.
Thank you so much for the info! I recently tried the Bibimbap and they did have
Gochujang as part of the dish and remembering that the last time I tried it and it was too spicy for me, I asked for it on the side, so now I know exactly what you’re talking about.
I love this recipe, I use hot paprika instead of smoked and omit the cayenne!
Thank you for your feedback and modifications, I bet it tastes delicious!
Thank you so much for posting this recepie! I had a Korean freind many, many year ago in Russia and she made this, but I had not learned her recepie. Enjoyed it very much! My favourite for sure.
Thank you so much for commenting! I’m glad I was able to help you relive some good memories!
Such a delicious looking recipe with an incredible history! I actually was looking for recipes for eating as banchan with my korean main dish recipes, and found this! I have a lot of carrots on hand and can’t wait to try this!
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you love these carrots as much as we do! Happy New Year!
Do you think this could hold like a pickling? I don’t think I’d eat all of it by myself, but I’d love to can it and keep it for long-term use.
I don’t think this will hold like a pickling because the carrots are raw. You can scale the whole recipe in half if you don’t think you can eat that much. But let me just tell you, it really isn’t all that much once it settles down after marinating, especially if you halve the recipe. It also holds well, so you can make it and keep it in the fridge for at least a week I would say. I put it in smaller containers (4-5) and just open one at a time and eat it.
Do you reheat the carrots if you let them marinate in the fridge overnight or eat them cold?
The carrots are meant to be eaten cold, like a salad. So no need to heat them at all.
is it really korean food? My friend who is korean said it’s not. But i don’t care if it is or not because it taste good 🙂
It is not 🙂 I kind of share the story about why it’s called Korean carrots in the post 😛
But it’s definitely delicious!
What type of vinegar did you use for the Spicy Korean Carrot recipe?
I used regular white vinegar.
Do you leave to marinate before or after adding the oil? Ie, do you do the oil fresh before serving or is it fine to refrigerate with the oil added?
Thanks for the question!
I don’t leave to marinate. Just add the salt and spices as per recipe, then heat the oil or fry the onions in the oil first and add that hot oil straight to the carrots. Leave it in the fridge, covered, until ready to serve. It tastes best next day, when the flavors have had time to mend.
Hi Marina, I have tried this salad before and indeed its delicious. However, can you please tell how much olive oil exactly is nedeed? Thanks Ludmilla
Hi Lyudmila, it is 1/2 cup. Sorry about that! I added it to the instructions now though. Hope you enjoy it!