Asian Carrot & Sesame Salad ♥

Asian Carrot Sesame Salad, another simple salad from everyday ingredients ♥ Vegan. Low Carb. WW Friendly.
Today's easy grated carrot salad: A simple carrot slaw, really, bound together with a dressing of rice vinegar and sesame oil spiked with ginger, garlic and cilantro. It pairs beautifully with other Asian-style dishes or you know, just a meal prep salad when all that's left in the fridge is a bag of carrots. Just delightful!

Real Food, Fast & Casual. Not Just Easy, Summer Easy. Budget Friendly. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

What's in the Fridge? What's in the Cupboard?

I'm a complete sucker for simple vegetable salads made with everyday ingredients 95% likely to be already on hand. Here? Carrot, check. Rice vinegar, check, although any other vinegar would be fine. Sesame oil, just a touch but an important flavor element. A bit of ginger and ginger? Check. A bit of green, cilantro works well but again, what's on hand, use that. Sesame seeds? Totally optional.

One of my fellow food bloggers calls this carrot slaw with Asian flavors an "actually tasty carrot salad" and her description made it a shoe-in here. She was right. It is, indeed, actually tasty. Very tasty. And perfect for adding to a lunch- or light supper- salad plate.

Jars of grated garlic and grated ginger, more convenient product recommendations ♥

Ingredients to Make Asian Carrot & Sesame Salad

Like all my recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

CARROTS Duh. But really, other dense, firm vegetables would work too. What about daikon or kohlrabi ir jicama or radish or or or? You get the idea.
SESAME OIL & SESAME SEEDS The sesame oil is essential, it's what give the salad one of its distinctive flavors. It's not that you couldn't use another oil, but it's the combination of sesame oil, ginger, garlic and cilantro which gives the carrots an Asian-style twist. But sesame seeds themselves? Optional.
GARLIC & GINGER From a jar or squeeze bottle? Heck yeah for a simple salad like this. Naturally, freshly grated or minced garlic and ginger will work too.
CILANTRO Let me go out on a limb and say that 99.99% of salads are just better with a small measure of green freshness. Cilantro is wonderful here but another fresh herb could work well, so would arugula, something with a little bite.

Summer Salads in Print!

This recipe is one of three published in my story about summer salads in the July 2007 issue of Sauce Magazine, St. Louis' wonderful food and restaurant magazine. The others are Jicama Slaw and Spring & Summer Sliced Salad.

Asian Carrot Sesame Salad, another simple salad from everyday ingredients ♥ Vegan. Low Carb. WW Friendly.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 3-3/4 cups

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (or another light, gentle vinegar)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (this is key, don't skip)
1/2 tablespoon grated or finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

1 pound carrots, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional but nice texture contrast, black sesame seeds are especially dramatic)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or another fresh herb

DRESSING Whisk together the dressing ingredients.

SALAD Stir in the grated carrot and sesame seeds. If there's time, let the salad rest at room temperature for 15 - 30 minutes, long enough for the carrots to soak up some of the dressing. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

MAKE-AHEAD This salad is great right away but definitely could be made early in the day for serving in the evening. It's also a salad that's to have on hand, a sort of carrot pickle relish to slip into a ham sandwich or eat for lunch with cottage cheese.

ADD-INS Sesame seeds make sense, given the sesame oil. At the same time, there's no reason why you can't use sunflower seeds or toasted pecans or even something completely different like edamame or bits of cucumber. I even use poppy seeds, just to add a little visual interest.
DRAG OUT THE FOOD PROCESSOR? For a single batch of this salad, I grate the carrots on the large holes of a standing cheese grater. (I've had the same four-sided one for years but like this looks of how this two-sided cheese grater (affiliate link) folds flat for storage. Handy!) But for a double batch? I'd definitely pull out the food processor to grate the carrots.
GRATING vs JULIENNE, ETC Grating is the easiest way to achieve the small bits of carrot that can easily soak up the vinegar-y dressing, almost pickling the carrots. Could you use a julienne tool? Sure. I suppose you could also slice the carrots crossways to form thin rounds or thin half moons.

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Still Hungry?

More Favorite Carrot Salad Recipes

~ Light Red Cabbage & Carrot Salad ~
~ Carrot & Chickpea Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing ~
~ Egyptian Kamut Salad with Roasted Carrot & Pomegranate ~
~ more carrot recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Celebration Salad (Maple-Roasted Carrots with Arugula, Dill, Cranberry Vinaigrette, Pomegranate and Glazed Pecans) ~
~ New-Fashioned Sauerkraut Salad ~
~ Holy Slaw! ~
~ more carrot recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

Seasonal Eating During the Height of Summer Across the Years

Eggplant, Tomato & Mozzarella Sandwiches Southern Farm-Stand Stew this week's healthy favorite! Fresh Tomato with Fresh Mozzarella Artichoke & Pepper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Zucchini Timbale with Cheese (Crustless Zucchini Cheese Pie) My First Panzanella Clean-out-the-Fridge Noodle Bowl Spring & Summer Sliced Salad What Is This Pan? Asian Carrot & Sesame Salad Jicama Slaw Cucumbers in Vinegar Zucchini Carpaccio Cowboy Coleslaw Farro with Beet Greens How to Keep Fresh Vegetables Fresh Longer Raw Eggplant Salad Tossed Caprese Salad Falling In Love with Green Beans: Favorite Recipes Creamy Feta Mousse with Greek Salads just gorgeous! Crustless Quiche with Greens & Garden Vegetables Vegetables 101: What Is a Tomatillo? Black Bean & Corn Salad Chilled Zucchini Noodle Salad with Pesto, Sweet Corn & Sun-Dried Tomato Cauliflower Steaks with Warm Corn & Poblano Salsa Cucumber Smoothies Summer Green Bean Salad with Corn & Pickled Onion

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2006, 2007 & 2020

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Hi,
    Thank you for the recipe, i make something similar to this using carrots with a simple dressing of lemon juice and chopped cilantro. But this one sounds much better than that. Will try it out for sure.

  2. I'll bet black sesame seeds would really rock in this!

  3. I hope to try this sometime soon... it looks like something we would both enjoy!

  4. AnonymousJuly 13, 2006

    Looks yummy! I did not understand though that you recommended at first to make a double batch; and at the end wrote not to let the carrots and dressing mixture sit for longer than an hour. Do you recommend to make the dressing ahead and let it sit in the fridge alone?
    thank you. Love your blog!

  5. Dear Anonymous,

    You are one careful reader. And I thank you! (Are you the same Anonymous who asked if the potatoes should be drained before mashing? Good catch!)

    So. Should the carrot & sesame salad rest for 15-60 minutes but then be eaten up right away? Or can you make two batches, keeping one for the frig?


    The honest answer is that I don't remember. I tested this recipe back in late April when I was writing the story for Sauce.

    But: once again, all the ingredients are already on hand, including some gorgeous homegrown carrots from the farmers market in St Paul, MN.

    So I'll make another batch and let you know!

    And be grateful for your careful reading. Seriously. I really DO believe that A Veggie Venture serves some small service. At five o'clock, I watch the stats spike as visitor after visitor goes straight to the broccoli section, the spinach section. I even picture them: at work, sitting at their desks, planning supper and a last-minute grocery stop. And so I really do take care to make instructions clear.

    Some times I miss. And you, I thank, for letting me fix it.


  6. Archanat - the sesame oil, especially, reall adds. Let me know how it compares!

    S'kat - black sesame seeds would be GORGEOUS!

    Joe -- aren't you in the middle of moving? ;-)

    Anonymous - thanks again!!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna