Pan Fried Korean Zucchini (Hobak Jeon)

  • on 21 August 2020
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Easy Korean style pan fried zucchini recipe! This is a popular Korean side dish, which can be made in under 20 mins. All you need is zucchini, flour, egg and some salt.

This savory and delicate tasting pan fried zucchini can easily accompany any Korean main dishes. Let’s make it!

Stack of Pan Fried Korean Zucchini

What is Pan Fried Korean Zucchini

Pan fried Korean zucchini, known as hobak jeon (호박전) is a popular Korean zucchini side dish.

Thinly sliced zucchini is lightly seasoned with salt then coated in a thin batter of flour and egg. Then it is pan fried in a lightly greased pan.

While hobak jeon can be made any time of the year, summer tends to be the popular time for making it. It is also commonly served on New Years’ Day (Seollal) and Korean Thanksgiving Day (Chuseok) with other Korean celebratory food.

 

Types of Zucchini to Use

Collage picture of Korean zucchini and green zucchini

Often, young Korean zucchini (Aehobak) is used in making hobak jeon. However, regular zucchini also known as courgette, summer squash, green zucchini or Italian zucchini will work as well.

Although, I find that the flesh of young Korean zucchini is more tender than regular zucchini. Also, the color of the skin is much lighter too. 

When you choose zucchini, go after smaller and younger zucchini. It should also be firm with smooth and glossy skin. 

 

How to Serve

Pan fried zucchini has a savory taste and very mild flavor profile. If you are used to the stronger taste of many Korean dishes, you may find this a bit bland. To help with that, you can serve the pan fried zucchini with a Korean soy dipping sauce.

 

How to Store

Pan fried zucchini can be refrigerated in an air tight container for 2-3 days. While it can be eaten cold or warm, I do find that it tastes nicer when it is warm. 

When reheating, I recommend doing it in a pan over the stove top to minimise the zucchini getting overly soggy, however it can be microwaved for your connivence.

 

Other Korean Side Dishes You Might Like

 

Ingredients for Pan Fried Korean Zucchini (Serves 4 to 5)

  • 1 (185g / 7 ounces) Korean zucchini (or summer squash), thinly sliced (0.3 – 0.5cm / 0.2 inches)
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour (rice flour or Korean pancake mix will work fine too.)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt, divided into one 1/4 tsp lot and one 1/2 tsp lot
  • Some cooking oil

 

How to Make Pan Fried Korean Zucchini

Place the sliced zucchini on a flat surface (I used a rimmed baking sheet). Sprinkle salt (1/4 tsp) around the zucchini evenly. Rest for about 5 mins. Gently wipe any excess moisture from the zucchini with kitchen paper.

Wiping excess water from sliced zucchini

Place the flour and remaining salt (1/2 tsp) in a freezer bag and add the zucchini. Shake the bag, while holding tightly the open end with one hand, ensuring the zucchini is evenly coated.

Coating zucchini with flour in a plastic bag

Take out the zucchini from the bag one by one, gently shake off excess flour, dunk them into a bowl of beaten egg. Coat both sides of the zucchini with the egg in batches.

Coating zucchini in beaten egg

Preheat a skillet over medium to medium low heat. Once heated, add some cooking oil and spread well. Gently place the zucchini and cook both sides until lightly golden brown. 

(It is important to cook the zucchini over medium to medium low to heat to avoid burning it. It will take about 3-4 mins to cook both sides but it will depend on the thickness of your zucchini. Flip them over halfway through. You may have to cook them in batches.)

 Transfer to a plate.

Pan frying Korean zucchini in a skillet

Serve with Korean pancake dipping sauce, cooked rice and other Korean side dishes

Pan fried zucchini served on a rectangular plate

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Stack of Pan Fried Korean Zucchini
  • Place the sliced zucchini on a flat surface (I used a rimmed baking sheet). Sprinkle salt (1/4 tsp) around the zucchini evenly. Rest for about 5 mins. Gently wipe any excess moisture from the zucchini with kitchen paper.

  • Place the flour and remaining salt (1/2 tsp) in a freezer bag and add the zucchini. Shake the bag, while holding tightly the open end with one hand, ensuring the zucchini is evenly coated.

  • Take out the zucchini from the bag one by one, gently shake off excess flour, dunk them into a bowl of beaten egg. Coat both sides of the zucchini with the egg in batches.

  • Preheat a skillet over medium to medium low heat. Once heated, add some cooking oil and spread well. Gently place the zucchini and cook both sides until lightly golden brown.(It is important to cook the zucchini over medium to medium low to heat to avoid burning it. It will take about 3-4 mins to cook both sides but it will depend on the thickness of your zucchini. Flip them over halfway through. You may have to cook them in batches.) Transfer to a plate.
  • Serve with Korean pancake dipping sauce, cooked rice and other Korean side dishes

Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 255mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 359IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.




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