Carrot Mochi with Pickled Carrots, Carrot Vinaigrette, and Pistachio Dukkah

"Carrots appear in four forms in this salad, dreamed up by our incredibly talented chef de cuisine Gaby Maeda. She turns the root vegetable into lively, crunchy pickles. She roasts it until it’s sweet and tender. She concocts a vinaigrette using its juice. And, most unusual, she turns it into balls of the Japanese rice cake called mochi, which has a chewy, slightly springy quality that I just love. Part Japanese, Gaby grew up in Hawaii, where her grandmother would crisp mochi in oil, then top it with soy sauce and nori. She also ate a popular Hawaiian dish called mochiko chicken, the meat dredged in glutinous rice flour and fried. Recalling this gave her an idea. Gaby thought of mixing rice flour with an intensely carroty purée to make mochi dough. This dish is a perfect example of how our cooks shape our food." — James Beard Award winners Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski


Pickled Carrots (makes about 1 cup):

  • 5 trimmed young carrots (about 1/2-inch thick), thinly sliced into rounds
  • 3/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

Carrot Juice Vinaigrette (makes about 1/2 cup):

  • 1/4 cup carrot juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely grated (on a Microplane) garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated (on a Microplane) ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated (on a Microplane) jalapeño
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Carrot Mochi:

  • 8 ounces large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup plus
  • 2 tablespoons carrot juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mochiko-style sweet rice flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Pistachio Dukkah:

  • 1/4 cup raw shelled pistachios
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Roasted Carrots:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 trimmed young carrots (about 1/2-inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

To finish the dish:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup drained Pickled Carrots
  • 1 recipe Carrot Juice Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1/2 cup micro-sorrel (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon very coarsely chopped dill
  • 8 large mint leaves, torn at the last minute


For the pickled carrots: Put the carrots in a heat-proof container.

In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, peppercorns, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, salt, and chile flakes and stir to mix. Bring to a boil over high heat and then pour over the carrots. When the liquid has cooled, press plastic wrap to the surface to help keep the carrots submerged.

Cover and store in the fridge for at least 1 day and up to 1 week.

For the carrot juice vinaigrette: Combine the carrot juice, lime juice, salt, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and Tabasco in a medium mixing bowl and stir well. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow stream until well combined.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Whisk well before using.

For the carrot mochi: Combine the carrots, 1/2 cup carrot juice, and kosher salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, skimming the foam on the surface as often as necessary, until all but 1/2 inch or so of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook just until the liquid has completely evaporated and the carrots are fully tender, about 10 minutes more.

Transfer the carrots to a blender and purée on high speed until very smooth, adding up to 2 tablespoons of the remaining carrot juice, if necessary, to blend. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the flour until a smooth dough forms, gradually adding more flour as needed just until the tacky dough no longer sticks to your hands. Roll the dough into 11/2-inch balls.

Prepare an ice bath in a medium mixing bowl.

Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the mochi balls and boil, stirring occasionally, until they’re no longer grainy in the center (cut one in half and taste it), 6 to 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mochi to the ice bath to cool, then drain well in a colander. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat. (If not using immediately, transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before using.)

For the pistachio dukkah: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the pistachios on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, shaking occasionally and keeping a close eye on them, until lightly browned and aromatic, about 6 minutes. Let cool and then very coarsely chop. Pound the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a mortar until coarsely cracked. Transfer to a small bowl; add the pistachios, sesame seeds, chile flakes, and sea salt and stir well. Set aside.

For the roasted carrots: Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof medium sauté pan until you see wisps of smoke. Add the carrots in a single layer and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the butter, thyme, rosemary, and garlic and let the butter melt. Sprinkle with the kosher salt, toss well, and transfer to the oven. Roast until the carrots are tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Halve them on the diagonal and keep warm. 

To finish the dish: Melt the butter in a medium light-colored skillet over medium-high heat. Let it froth and bubble, occasionally stirring and pushing the froth aside to check on the color, until the butter turns a light golden hue, about 3 minutes. Add the mochi balls, sprinkle with the kosher salt, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the balls are crispy and golden brown on the outside, about 3 minutes. Transfer the balls to a serving platter and spoon on the butter remaining in the pan.

Sprinkle the balls with the pickled carrots and spoon on the vinaigrette. Arrange the roasted carrots on top and sprinkle with the pistachio dukkah along with the sea salt. Top with the sorrel (if using), dill, and mint. Serve right away.


4 servings