Recipe: Pickled carrot salad with coriander & mint
When I lived in Ukraine I used to love going to our local markets to get a hot dog with this amazing pickled grated carrot inside the bun. I am pretty sure I didn’t care about the hot dog itself but I really loved the carrot. After a while I started seeing the same carrot salad sold from big wooden barrels and people would buy kilos of it. It’s known as ‘the Korean carrot’. I have no idea why as I doubt it actually comes from Korea but my guess is that it mimics the process of light fermentation.
I haven’t eaten it since I moved to Australia in 1997 but I’ve always wanted to make it at home. A while back I found a recipe online but of course I had to adapt and make it my own. The original pickled carrot is made with crushed coriander seeds, garlic, sugar, white vinegar and olive oil. I wanted to give it a more Middle-Eastern/Moroccan spin so I’ve taken out the garlic and added cumin, chilli and mint. I used apple cider vinegar for its natural sweetness and apple flavour and removed any added sugar. It’s a great accompaniment to other dishes and I love to roll it in ham or turkey slices with some avocado for a snack.
- 4 carrots, grated
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin or seeds
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 small red chilli, seeds out and finely chopped
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- Mix vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat a frying pan to medium and cook coriander and cumin seeds with no oil for 1-2 minutes, keep stirring to prevent burning. This toasting process will heat the oils and release all the beautiful aromas and flavours from the spices.
- Grind toasted coriander and cumin seeds using mortar and pestle or an electric grinder. You can also beat the hell out of it with a wooden pin. Return spices to the frying pan with all of the olive oil and heat it up until it’s nice and hot but not smoking or sizzling.
- Mix carrots with chilli and pour in the vinegar dressing. Now add the hot spiced oil and mix thoroughly. I know this sounds strange but adding hot oil to carrots adds magic to the pickling process. Also, I don’t know if this is just an old myth but treating raw carrots with hot oil helps to release beta-carotene. I suppose that does happen when you cook carrots so there you go.
- Finally slice the mint finely and mix through grated carrots before serving. Garnish with extra mint.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 minutes
Number of servings: 2+