Russian Carrot Salad – Koreiskaya Morkovka

This carrot salad is very popular in the Russian cuisine. The crunchy grated carrots are dressed with oil from caramelized onions and seasoned with coriander and garlic.

Russian Carrot Salad, also called Korean Carrots is a carrot salad flavored with onions, garlic and coriander.

This carrot salad is most often called Koreiskaya Morkovka, literally translated Korean Carrots and has been a popular dish in the Slavic cuisine since the 80s. Some say that it is a Korean recipe and others say it is Slavic. I’m not a nutritional anthropologist, so I don’t know for sure, but this recipe is really delicious and has certainly been adopted by Slavic people and becoming a favorite with many.

It is often served as an appetizer for the holidays and special occasions, like weddings and parties. Although there are many variations to this recipe, most use a similar approach. Today I am sharing my Mom’s recipe and the way we like to make it in our family.

The wonderful thing about this salad is that is is made in advance, which makes it really convenient for parties. The carrots are shredded into thin matchsticks. I like using a fine julienne grater. With the flavors of caramelized onions and garlic, the flavors of the carrots get more and more pronounced when it has a chance to “marinate” in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or up to days in advance.

You can make it as mild or as spicy as you like and adjust the seasonings based on your preferences. In our family, we like using ground coriander, paprika, ground black pepper and some cayenne pepper for a bit of heat.

Ingredients For Russian Carrot Salad:

  • Carrots
  • Onions – I use yellow onions for this recipe
  • Oil – most high smoke point oils will work such as avocado, sunflower, grape seed oils
  • Ground coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper – use as much or as little of these spices as you like. If you want the carrots to be spicy, add more cayenne pepper.
  • salt, ground black pepper, sugar
  • fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro) I like using either or both of these fresh herbs when I am serving this salad.

How To Prepare the Carrot Salad

  • Grate the carrots on a grater. For this particular salad, it is best to use a fine julienne grater/slicer and try to get long and thin strands of carrots.
  • Slice the onions into half circles, or chop them coarsely.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the onions. Cook the onions on medium low heat until they are golden brown, 7-10 minutes. They shouldn’t be completely caramelized, but have a lovely golden color.
  • While the onions are cooking, mix the carrots with the coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper, sugar and season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Mix to combine.
  • For the garlic, there are two options. 1. If you want the garlic to have a more mild flavor, add the minced garlic to the onions during the last 30 seconds to a minute of cooking. Garlic burns really quickly, so you don’t want to add it to the oil too soon. 2. If you want the carrot salad to have a more intense garlic flavor, place the raw minced garlic into a large bowl. Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and pour the hot oil from the skillet right over the raw garlic and strain out all the onions. The hot oil will slightly cook the garlic, but it will still be halfway raw.
  • The cooked onions will NOT be used in the salad. They add so much delicious flavor to the salad, but the actual onions are not added to the salad. Of course, they are so delicious, so don’t toss them:). I like to add the onions to soups, pasta, rice or potato dishes. They are also an excellent topping to a steak, chicken or even seafood.
  • Add the oil along with the garlic to the carrots. You can choose to strain out the garlic or add it to the salad, depending on what flavor you are going for. Mix to combine.

Storing and Serving the Carrot Salad

Store the carrot salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve. For the best results, marinate the salad for at least a few hours before serving or overnight. The salad can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

My favorite way to store the salad is in a glass mason jar with an airtight lid. From 2 lbs of carrots, I usually get one full 4 cup mason jar of salad packed in tightly.

As the carrots marinate, they will exude some liquid. Before serving the carrots, mix them up evenly to distribute all the juices, spices and oil evenly. Use a large fork or a slotted spoon to take out the carrots and don’t serve it with the extra liquid. (If you have leftovers, place them back into the jar with the marinating liquid into the refrigerator.)

Garnish the carrot salad with fresh herbs before serving.


Russian Carrot Salad – Koreiskaya Morkovka

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5 from 2 reviews

This carrot salad is very popular in the Russian cuisine. The crunchy grated carrots are dressed with oil from caramelized onions and seasoned with coriander and garlic.

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x



2 lbs carrots, peeled and grated on a fine julienne grater or mandolin

1 lb onions, sliced into half circles

1 cup oil (avocado, sunflower, etc.)

salt, ground black pepper, to taste

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

46 garlic cloves, minced

fresh herbs, to garnish (parsley or cilantro)


Grate the carrots on a fine julienne grater. 

Slice the onions into half circles. Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onions. Season with salt to taste. Cook on medium low heat for 7-10 minutes, until the onions are golden brown. 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, season the carrots with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Add the sugar, ground coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper and mix to combine. 

Finely mince or press the garlic cloves through a garlic press and place in the bottom of a large bowl. When the onions are cooked, strain the onions through a fine mesh sieve, pouring the hot oil right over the garlic. You can choose to strain out the garlic as well or even add the garlic to the onions during the last 30 seconds of cooking if you want the garlic to have a much more mild flavor in the salad. The other option is to add in the garlic along with the oil to the carrot salad, mixing all the ingredients to combine. The cooked onions will not be used in the salad. Add them to other recipes. 

Store the carrot salad in the refrigerator. You can serve the salad right away, but for the best results, marinate the salad in the refrigerator at least for a few hours or overnight before serving. 

Mix to combine again before serving the salad. Garnish with fresh herbs. 

Store the salad in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

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  • Iryna B.

    Thank you, Olga! I always loved this Morkovcha, but as a condiment. I like it very spicy. I do keep onion in the salad – I like it this way.
    As for the Borner grater… you wouldn’t believe it, but I couldn’t master the use of it and gave away to somebody. I do like to use a fine insert on my Borner Mandolin

    • olgak7

      It’s great as a condiment:). I know many people like it spicy as well. And of course different kitchen tools don’t work for different people; we all have our different preferences and that is great.

  • Ella

    Just to clarify the origin of this salad- it is as Korean as can be. There is nothing Russian about it. I grew up in Central Asia where we had a huge Korean population and we ate this salad way before it became ‘the thing’ on everyone’s table all over the former Soviet Union. Kimchi, kooksi, carrots, all sorts of traditional Korean cuisine were no strangers on our tables whether the family was Russian, Korean, Uzbek, Jewish, Tatar or anything in between

    • Ruth

      As a Korean American, running into this salad and the dishes from “Koryosaram” community was amazing because you can trace the roots to Korean cuisine. I love this salad and it’s highly reminiscent of a dish we call “Saengchae”. In my mind, it’s what a Korean person might concoct if they didn’t have the right ingredients for saengchae. However, I’m blown away by the use of coriander seed in this dish. Absolutely brilliant and this dish is really its own thing.

    • olgak7

      I find that people have very different salt preferences. I can’t remember off the top of my head how much salt I used, I added it according to my taste preferences.
      If it matters significantly in a recipe, for example a brine, marinating etc, I will measure and indicate the salt amount. However, in cases like this where it is a salad, you can just add as much or as little salt as you like. Start with less than you think it will need, mix, try it and add more if it needs it.
      Almost always, when I indicate how much salt or even sugar I add in any recipe, someone will always say it was way too much salt for them and others will say it wasn’t salty enough for the exact same recipe.

  • Chamila Purbhoo

    Hi olga, in Mauritius a tropical island in the Indian Ocean We also make a very similar salad. It’s used esp.when we run out of vegetables as carrots store well and its often the veg left in the fridge. We make it simpler but i will try out your recipe.

    We add freshly grated gjnger and grated fresh pineapples to it too for a change. Its refreshin and tasty.

  • John H.

    I spent two summers in Kyiv back in the early 1990s. While there, there was a little restaurant in the shadow of St. Andrew’s Cathedral that served lamb shashlik over a bed of french fries and surrounded by various vegetables. Typically, on either end of the platter, were a couple scoops each of some kind of pickled carrots and beets. Someone suggested this recipe was most likely the carrots. Would it be likely the same recipe could be done with beets?

    • Iryna

      it should be a vinegar, according to all the recipes I’ve known. But I guess it’s whatever the cook and family likes.

      • olgak7

        You can use vinegar, if that is what you prefer, Iryna. I share recipes the way I make them, but you can absolutely make your own adjustments.

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