This Carrot Salad or Carottes Râpées is a delicious side dish that you can make in no time. It also holds up well in the refrigerator for several days. If you’re all about meal prepping, this is one great salad to keep on your menu!
Vibrant, healthy, and refreshing, this Carrot Salad is a perfect side dish for any meal. Not only it is very easy to make, it actually keeps well in the refrigerator so you can make a big batch, and mix and match it with other dishes all week long.
Given its adaptability, it’s no wonder the salad is one of the most popular Japanese-style meal prep dishes (called Jobisai 常備菜 in Japanese). The Japanese home cooks just love making variations of this carrot salad.
Classic French Carrot Salad
This Carrot Salad is actually a classic everyday type of French salad and it’s called carottes râpées. In Japan, this dish is known by the French name キャロットラペ in katakana characters instead of the English name キャロットサラダ or Japanese name 人参サラダ.
I love that the salad is made with everyday ingredients, so it’s really no fuss. The typical French recipes call for:
- lemon juice
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Dijon mustard
My version is much more simplified with only the first 5 ingredients above. I sometimes don’t have parsley and lemon in my kitchen and on those days, I skip parsley and make this salad with rice vinegar. Since rice vinegar is slightly stronger (but it is milder than other kinds of vinegar), you can add sugar to balance out the acidity. Usually, when I use lemon juice, I don’t feel the need of adding sugar.
If you love spices and more flavors in your cooking, you may add Dijon mustard, cumin, curry powder, cinnamon, nuts, raisins, etc.
The Best Way to Julienne a Carrot
Many of you may use a box grater like this to make carrot salad. However, I personally prefer my carrot salad to be more of a julienne, or long, skinny shape. I think the julienned carrots look more elegant on a plate and I love the firmer texture of the carrot.
To create the long skinny julienned carrot, use Y-peeler (I use this brand) to peel the carrot into thin sheets first. If you’re worried about cutting yourself with a Y-peeler, hold one end of the carrot to keep the carrot steady on the cutting board and peel with the other hand. Keep your hand away from the blade.
Then cut the sheets in halves and cut them into julienned strips. I think this is the easiest (and best) way to cut into uniformed julienned strips.
If you prefer a box grater or another method to julienne carrots, please use whatever that is easiest for you to make the salad.
Japanese Meal Prep (Jobisai 常備菜)
Whether you serve the Carrot Salad as it is or between sandwiches or inside Onigirazu, this salad works beautifully in any meal. The vibrant color adds a nice accent to a bento box and it stays fresh even at room temperature.
Make it on a Sunday as a part of your weekly Japanese Meal Prep (Jobisai) and enjoy it throughout the week. When your plate needs a pop of color, the salad will come in handy!
Other Japanese Meal Prep (Jobisai) recipes you may enjoy with this salad:
Easy Carrot Salad
- 2 carrots (10 oz, 280 g)
- 1 small bunch Italian parsley (about 15 sprigs)
For the Seasonings
- ¼ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (or rice vinegar)
- ¼ tsp sugar (optional; add if using rice vinegar)
- ¼ tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
For the Optional Ingredients
- roasted walnuts (sprinkle)
- raisins (sprinkle)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Using a peeler, peel 2 carrots into long, thin sheets. Then, cut them in half crosswise.
- Cut the thin sheets of carrots lengthwise into julienne strips and put them in a medium bowl.
- Chop 1 small bunch Italian parsley and add to the bowl.
- Add all the seasonings to the bowl: ¼ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Optionally, add ¼ tsp sugar and ¼ tsp Dijon mustard now, if using. Toss the salad well.
- Let the salad marinate for at least 1 hour before serving. Optionally, sprinkle with roasted walnuts and raisins, if you wish. The carrot salad will keep for 5–6 days in the refrigerator.