This carrot, cucumber and mooli salad is fresh, flavourful and a breeze to put together. Carrot, cucumber, and mooli (or daikon) matchsticks are tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing and finished with crunchy sesame seeds. This delicious side salad does a fantastic job of adding freshness to dishes with a strong umami flavour like Japanese Chicken Tempura, Katsu Curry Sauce, and Furikake Salmon.
This salad comes together in just 10 minutes, but it will be extra yummy if you can leave it to rest for a little while. If you don't have time to do this it will still taste good, but if you give the veggies a little time to absorb the flavours of the dressing it will be sure to knock your socks off.
🛒 Key ingredients and possible alternatives
- Carrot, cucumber, and mooli/daikon - are cut into small matchsticks. The seeds are removed from the cucumber first to give the salad crispness. Normal radishes can be substituted for mooli if you are unable to get hold of it.
- Sesame seeds - provide a crunchy nuttiness that contrasts the smooth texture of the veggies. They are toasted first to enhance their nutty flavour.
- Rice vinegar - gives the salad a mild tanginess. You can swap it for apple cider vinegar if you need to.
- Sesame oil and soy sauce - provide an umami savouriness.
- Caster sugar - for fresh sweetness. Use ordinary white caster sugar if you can to bring a fresh and uncomplicated sweetness to the dish. Use a finely ground sugar so it easily dissolves into the dressing.
🧑🍳 How to make Carrot, Cucumber and Mooli Salad
1. Make the dressing
Mix rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Prep the salad
Put the carrot, cucumber and mooli/daikon matchsticks into a bowl and pour on the dressing. If you have time, set this aside for 30 minutes to 2 hours to allow the flavours of the dressing to be absorbed into the veggies.
3. Toast the sesame seeds
Place a frying pan on a high heat and add the sesame seeds and toast for a few minutes until they begin to brown. Then remove the sesame seeds from the pan and set aside.
Sprinkle the sesame seeds onto the salad when you are ready to serve.
🔪 Tools and Equipment
- Sharp knife - for cutting the carrot, cucumber, and mooli/daikon into matchsticks
- Small bowl/jug - for mixing the dressing ingredients
- Small frying pan - for toasting the sesame seeds
- Small to medium salad bowl - for mixing the salad together
👍 Top tips for a perfect Carrot, Cucumber, and Mooli Salad
- Toast the sesame seeds - if you are tempted to skip this step, don't. It only takes a few minutes and really enhances their nutty flavour
- Keep an eye on the sesame seeds - they only take a few minutes to brown and can burn very quickly. Make sure you remove them from the pan when they are done. They will continue to cook a little more in the hot pan after they have been taken off the hob and can burn.
- Let the salad rest - the salad will taste good if you eat it right away, but a resting period takes it to the next level. Try and set it aside for 30 minutes - 2 hours if you can. During this time the dressing flavours are absorbed into the veggies creating a pickled effect. Put the salad in the fridge to keep it fresh if you are planning to rest for a longer period or if your kitchen is warm.
This salad is best eaten fresh. If you leave it for longer than two hours it will go soggy. If you are making ahead or planning to save some for the next day it's best to store the veggies, sesame seeds, and dressing separately and assemble 30 mins to 2 hours before you plan to eat it to let the dressing flavours infuse with the other ingredients. The salad is not suitable for freezing.
You don't have to, it has a thin smooth skin so it's fine to just wash it first. In this salad recipe, the mooli is peeled to ensure all the veggies have a smooth texture.
Yes, they are both words to describe a long white radish that can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled. You will often find it in Asian cuisine. The peppery flavour is more subtle than red radishes and they are also sweeter.
Main courses to serve the carrot, cucumber and mooli salad with:
I often serve this salad with my Baked Furikake Salmon, Pork Katsu Curry and Crispy Rice (with spicy salmon or tuna). It's great at bringing freshness to dishes that have strong savoury and umami flavour such as curries and grilled meat or fish.Print