My family loves this carrot salad. I stopped consuming it when I found out about MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), which is often added to “morkovcha”. I also tried to avoid the white vinegar, which is also the part of the classic carrot salad recipe.
I tried making this carrot salad with apple cider vinegar, instead of distilled white vinegar; tried to use coconut oil, instead of refined vegetable oil. But the substitutes did not give expected results. The taste was completely different. I gave up trying for a while, then I tried again. This time, I loved the taste which resembled the original morkovcha salad without the ingredients I try to avoid.
About the ingredients in the carrot salad
Carrots. Use fresh crunchy sweet orange carrots.
Vinegar. Use balsamic vinegar or grape vinegar. I used balsamic vinegar. Do not use white distilled vinegar. Apple cider vinegar did not give the desired taste, but you may like it depending on your preferences.
Cane sugar. You may skip it if your carrots are sweet enough. Otherwise, you can use white or brown cane sugar. Do not worry, it will ferment in the salad and we don’t use much. I would not use beet sugar though because of the possible GMO origin of the beets used. Coconut sugar or turbinado will change the flavor and we don’t want that.
Vegetable oil. It needs to be liquid with a neutral taste. I used avocado oil because it has a neutral taste and it is high heat resistant meaning it will not get toxic when heated.
Cilantro (coriander) seeds. Grind the whole seeds. Do not make a powder. We need a coarse and fresh grind for maximum flavor.
Sea salt. I used Celtic sea salt. Use whatever you like. I personally try to avoid refined and iodized salts, but it’s up to you.
“Morkovcha” Korean-Russian Carrot Salad
- 2 lbs (about 1 kg) Carrots
- 10 pcs Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Sea salt
- 1 Onion
- 100 gr Avocado oil
- 1 Tbsp Coriander seeds
- 1 tsp dried Cilantro
- 1/2 tsp of Chili pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp of Cane sugar
- 1 Tbsp of Balsamic vinegar
- Peel and cut the carrots thin and long. You can use special slicer to do this.
- Add salt to the sliced carrots and gently mix. Do not break the carrots. Cover and leave until you prepare the spices.
- Chop the garlic. Do not use garlic press. We need tiny garlic cubes, not smashed garlic. I chopped the garlic with a knife. Yes, it makes the difference to the taste of the salad.
- Coarsely grind the coriander seeds. Freshly ground seeds are preferred.
- Check the carrots. They must be softer and juicy now. Gently squeeze and discard the juice (you can use the juice in your soups if you like).
- Grind the sugar and dried cilantro into powder.
- Chop the onion. Heat the oil and fry the onions until golden brown.
- Strain the onions out and discard. All we need is the onion flavored oil.
- Add the spices (chopped garlic, cilantro, sugar, chili pepper, coriander seeds) to the middle of the sliced squeezed carrots. Do NOT mix.
- Pour the scalding hot onion flavored oil over the spices. This step gives that special "morkovcha" flavor to the salad.
- Add 1 Tbsp of Balsamic vinegar. Mix.
- Pack the mixture to glass jars and place the jars to the fridge for about 5-10 hours.
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