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!

Spicy Korean Carrot Salad is a mix of garlic, coriander, hot oil and other spices marinated in carrots.

*PIN this Carrot Recipe to your PINTEREST board*

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 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.

With warm weather and lots of grilling coming up, this carrot salad recipe will come in very handy. You might think that I know all of my recipes by heart, but unfortunately, I too have to refer to my handwritten recipe book for recipes sometimes. Now that I am posting it here, it will be nice to have the recipe at the click of the finger. Hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do!

Spicy Korean Carrot Salad is a must-have recipe for grilling season. A mix of garlic, coriander, hot oil and other spices transform the carrots into something unbelievable! | Let the Baking Begin!

Spicy Korean Carrots

Yield: 4-6 cups

Ingredients for Spicy Korean Carrots 

  • 2.2 lbs (1000 g) julienned carrots (julienne using this or this julienne slicer)
  • 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 vinegar
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup virgin olive oil, heated until almost smoking

How to make Spicy Korean Carrots – Morkovcha

  1. Start by peeling and julienning carrots using a julienne slicer.
  2. Now add everything but the olive oil to a bowl (carrots & spices). Mix and set aside.

    Step by step pictures of how to make spicy korean carrots salad recipe.

  3. 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 oil and onions or use them for a different recipe. The oil must be thoroughly heated until almost smoking before adding to the salad.
  4. Add the oil into the carrots a bit at a time, mixing with a large fork after each addition. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

    Spicy Korean Carrots mixed in the ingredients and hot oil.

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 fridge up to a week.

What do YOU like to eat this carrot salad with?

The carrot salad recipe goes very well with any kind of grilled meat or fish and 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 held in a fork. Seasoned carrots with hot oil.

My favorites to enjoy this carrot salad with!

Spicy Korean Carrots

Spicy Korean Carrots - A must-have recipe for grilling season. A mix of garlic, coriander, hot oil and other spices transform the carrots into something unbelievable! | Let the Baking Begin!
5 from 2 votes
Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin!
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Russian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 cups

Ingredients

  • 2.2 lbs 1000 g julienned carrots (julienne using this or this julienne slicer)
  • 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 vinegar
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2/3 cup virgin olive oil heated until almost smoking

Instructions

How to make Spicy Korean Carrots

  1. Start by peeling and julienning carrots using a julienne slicer.
  2. Now to a bowl add everything (carrots & spices) but olive oil. Mix and set aside.
  3. 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 sauce pot 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Bon Appetit & Happy Pinning

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Spicy Korean Carrots Salad- A must-have recipe for grilling season. A mix of garlic, coriander, hot oil and other spices transform the carrots into something unbelievable! | Let the Baking Begin!UPD: June 2018

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  • Patricia

    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!

    · Reply
    • Thanks Patritia!

      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?

      · Reply
      • Patricia

        Hi Marina,

        Gochujang is a Korean hot chili paste that is a staple in Korean cooking. Here is a link for you:

        https://www.thekitchn.com/gochujang-the-miso-of-korean-cooking-ingredient-intelligence-165083

        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.

        Patricia

        · Reply
  • Jade

    I love this recipe, I use hot paprika instead of smoked and omit the cayenne!

    · Reply
  • […] Spicy Korean Carrots – these are always a treat when I make them. If you’ve never had them, make them! You’ve never had carrot salad this good! […]

    · Reply
  • Joulia

    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.

    J.

    · Reply
  • Kasey

    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!

    · Reply
  • Dina

    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.

    · Reply
    • Hi Dina,
      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.

      · Reply
  • MJ

    Do you reheat the carrots if you let them marinate in the fridge overnight or eat them cold?

    · Reply
  • jh

    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 🙂

    · Reply
    • It is not 🙂 I kind of share the story about why it’s called Korean carrots in the post 😛
      But it’s definitely delicious!

      · Reply
  • Jill

    What type of vinegar did you use for the Spicy Korean Carrot recipe?

    · Reply
  • Elleisa

    Hi Marina

    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!

    · Reply
    • Hi Ellesia,
      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.

      · Reply
  • Ludmilla

    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

    · Reply

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