Russian-Korean Carrot or Beet Salad – Morkovcha or Svelkovcha

In Russia this is a very popular vegetable snack or salad. It’s called “Korean style something (carrots, beets, eggplants, squash, potato, mushrooms, fern, tofu skin (by mistake, it was called… asparagus), beef, white fish and squid)” but it was not real Korean meal. It’s hot and sour carrot (most often) salad with additions. In the early 2000s, these salads were sold everywhere by smiling maybe-Korean women, who kept secret of great taste (turned out it was MSG). Now Korean style carrots – everyday snack dish, easy and plain, as such as bowl of instant ramen. In my days, such homemade salads, made from carrots and beets were called morkovcha and, respectively, sveklovcha (“cha” in Korean means salad). In our family it’s made like this, but there are many variations.

Russian-Korean Carrot or Beet Salad - Morkovcha or Svelkovcha

First of all, you need something to cut carrots or beets, I use Börner Thin Julienne Vegetable Slicer to made thin strips of hard vegetables. But any julienne slicer will work. Sharp knife and good hand are great too.

Yield: 2 servings

2 cups thin sliced raw carrots or beets
1/4 cup thin sliced sweet onion (yellow onion can be too bitter)
2-3 clove garlic, minced
1/3 tsp. salt or 1 tbsp. soy sauce, or for taste
1/3 tsp. ground coriander seeds
1/3 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch of ground hot pepper
2 tbsp. white vinegar (in Russia we used couple drops of vinegar essence)
some add sugar, but omit it if carrot sweet enough
1 to 8 tbsp. of vegetable oil (some like it oily, I prefer 1-2 tbsp. oil by this amount of ingredients)

Three ways to make it:

1. Just mix all together and let stay in cool place overnight.

2. Combine carrot or beet, vinegar, salt or soy sauce, squeeze with hand. Taste and season more if needed. Add onion, garlic, coriander seeds and black pepper on top. Heat the oil to 350F, add pinch of ground hot red pepper, remove from heat immediately and pour onto onion. Mix well, cover with plate and put some weight on top. Let stay in cool place overnight.

3. Like second way, but add onion into preheated oil, cook to brown, take out the onion, add peppers and coriander in oil and pour it onto seasoned carrot.

1 serving Morkovcha is about 130 calories

1 serving Sveklovcha is about 135 calories

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5 Responses to “Russian-Korean Carrot or Beet Salad – Morkovcha or Svelkovcha”

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