This Carrot Salad or Carottes Râpées is an easy and delicious side dish that can be made 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 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 with 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 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 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 carrot, please use whatever 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 in a bento box and it stays fresh even at the 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:
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Easy Carrot Salad
- 2 carrots (10 oz, 280 g)
- 1 sprig Italian parsley
- ¼ tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (or rice vinegar)
- ¼ tsp sugar (optional; add if you use rice vinegar)
Optional (Only if you prefer to add)
- ¼ tsp Dijon mustard (mix with seasonings)
- roasted walnuts (sprinkle)
- raisins (sprinkle)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Using a peeler, peel the carrot into thin sheets, and then cut them in halves.
- Cut the thin sheets of carrots into julienne strips and put them in a medium bowl.
- Chop the Italian parsley and add to the bowl.
- Add all the seasonings (½ tsp salt, freshly ground black pepper, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice).
- Let them marinate for at least 1 hour before serving. The carrot salad will keep for 5-6 days in the refrigerator.