This simple but vibrant raw carrot salad recipe has so much flavor. Raw carrots and fresh herbs are tossed together in a zesty Nuoc Cham dressing.
This simple salad is a healthy and fresh side dish that is super quick to whip together. Though simple it may be, it packs a flavorful punch with lots of different flavors. This salad has a Vietnamese-inspired twist.
Shredded carrots and fresh cilantro and mint are tossed together in a zingy dressing. This easy recipe is super delicious and beautiful. The orange carrots are so bright next to the green herbs.
A sprinkle of roasted peanuts brings a bit of extra texture.
Raw carrot health benefits
Raw carrots are a great addition to a healthy daily diet and they are the main ingredient in this easy raw carrot salad.
Carrots are great for gut health and they're packed with vitamins like vitamin A, K, calcium, and beta carotene.
Hormonal imbalance / Estrogen dominance
Carrots contain a unique fiber to help with hormonal balance. They are a natural detoxifier and can remove excess estrogen from the body, by preventing the reabsorption of estrogen. Carrots provide liver support and general health benefits.
But health benefits aside, they also happen to be the perfect vessel to carry the flavors of the herbs and dressing in this shredded carrot salad.
This grated carrot salad is not complete without these two herbs - Fresh coriander (aka cilantro) and fresh mint leaves. Together these are a powerhouse, and they bring the best flavors. It's recommended these are not swapped or substituted. I use them in this noodle salad too.
Nuoc cham (Nước Chấm) is an ambiguous name for the salty, sweet, umami-packed sauce used in many Vietnamese dishes. It literally translates to 'dipping sauce' but can also be used as a dressing. It becomes the bridge of flavor between the delicate balance of sweet raw carrot and punchy fresh herbs.
The ingredient list is short but each one provides an element of taste to create the perfect dressing. It has sweetness, saltiness, heat, acidity and of course umami. It's the perfect way to brighten the flavor of grated carrots. Find the actual dressing ingredients amounts in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
The dressing consists of
The dressing consists of
- Fish Sauce - This is the main flavor component. Fish sauce has a unique and special flavor. Fish sauce adds umami to the salad which is a wonderful savory note.
- Water - This dilutes the dressing a little.
- Fresh lime juice or fresh lemon juice - Tangy lemon juice or lime juice are the perfect match for savory fish sauce.
- Brown sugar - brings a little sweetness. Swap for coconut sugar, maple syrup, or another sweetener of your choice.
- Chili (optional) - A little heat
A food processor with a shredding blade or a box grater to shred the carrots
Using a food processor or the large holes of a box grater, shred the whole carrots and add them to a large bowl.
Finely chop the cilantro and the fresh mint. Roughly chop roasted peanuts. Add the herbs and the peanuts to the carrots.
In a jar or small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, then pour this generously over the salad. Toss it all together to coat.
Serve the raw carrot salad right away.
Store leftover carrot salad in an air tight container in the refrigerator until the next day. It is best enjoyed on the day it is made.
Making in advance
The components of this healthy salad recipe can be made in advance.
However, it is best to keep them separate, each in an airtight container until it is time to serve. Once you are ready to serve the salad, pour over the dressing.
Additions and substitutions
If you want to add or change parts of the salad, here are a few ideas -
- Bulk the salad out to make it a main course by adding extra vegetables and rice noodles. Add cucumber, green onions, and mung beans, rice noodles, and a protein like chicken or tofu. See this noodle salad recipe.
- Make this salad vegetarian. Swap the fish saue for low-sodium soy sauce. It won't give the same umami flavor as fish sauce, but it makes a good substitute.
- The peanuts can be swapped for other nuts to bring the perfect amount of crunch.
- A sprinkling of fried shallots is a delicious crunchy treat that works well with this salad. Sprinkle this on at the time of serving.
More salad recipes
- 450g / 1 pound fresh carrots
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves (coriander)
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- ⅓ cup roasted peanuts
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 ¼ Tablespoons fresh lime juice or lemon juice
- ¾ Tablespoon soft brown sugar or honey
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
- Using a food processor or the large holes of a box grater, shred the raw carrots and add them to a large bowl.
- Finely chop the herbs. Roughly chop roasted peanuts. Add the herbs and the peanuts to the carrots.
- In a jar or small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, then pour this generously over the salad. Toss it all together to coat.
- Serve the salad right away.
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but it is best enjoyed on the day it is made.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 826mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 4g