Korean carrot salad, pronounced Koreyscha Sabzili Salat in the Uzbek language, is ubiquitous throughout the former Soviet Union. The dish was invented by Korean immigrants to Russia’s Far East and the recipe would have stayed there if Stalin hadn’t forcibly deported the Soviet Koreans further west to the Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan and Kazakstan. Stalin’s fear that Japanese spies were infiltrating the USSR via these Korean immigrants spread Korean cuisine into the Soviet Union’s interior.
This is a recipe that begs to be made a day in advance so the ingredients have a chance to get to know each other better.
Korean Carrots (Koreyscha Sabzili Salat)
- 1 lb carrots, peeled, finely julienne
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 teaspoons ground red pepper
- 5 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons of [amazon_link id="B00348JCL8" target="_blank" ]rice wine vinegar[/amazon_link] (or white vinegar)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used grapeseed oil, but sunflower seed oil would work)
- Julienne carrots with a vegetable shredder and put into a large bowl.
- Mix carrots and salt together. Set aside for 20-30 minutes. Press mixture firmly and drain the liquid.
- Add the other ingredients (except the oil) and mix them well.
- Put 1/2 cup oil in a saucepan and heat it up on medium low heat for a few minutes. Pour the warmed oil onto the carrots and mix completely.
- Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours or overnight to marinade.