Hobak Jeon 호박전 (Zucchini Pancake)

Instead of the usual haemul pajeon (seafood/scallion pancake) that I like to make for my late night snack, I chose something lighter and healthier, hobak jeon (zucchini pancakes). And since I didn’t have this recipe on our blog list, it was nice to get it over with despite wanting something more meaty and hearty. This hobak jeon/buchimgae is such a simple dish (a little too
simple) but it’s very tasty and really a no-fuss recipe that can be had in under 20 minutes from start to finish. I added some grated carrots to the mix for extra texture and crunch, but you’re more than welcome to add practically anything to this pancake. The basic jeon/buchimgae (pancake) is called pajeon (scallion pancake), followed by haemul pajeon (seafood & scallion pancake), and probably a distant third is kimchi buchimgae. Many restaurants in Korea serve the basic pancake as a complimentary dish (especially when you order a lot), and it is a very popular anju (side dish with alcohol) where specialty restaurants and pubs (sometimes referred to as HOFs in Korean) create some amazing old-school, traditional pajeon with the works. We could probably make a lengthy list of jeon/buchimgae varieties for the blog, but I think this will be the last of our pancake series and hope to find other substitutes for our late night snacking. 🙂

Servings: 2 people
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes (2 pancakes)

Ingredients:
  • 1 large hobak (zucchini), julienned or cut into matchstick pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup buchim garu, Korean Pancake Mix (if unavailable use all flour)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil

For Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (regular vinegar okay)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • sprinkle gochugaru (red pepper flakes)
  • green onion, thin slices
  • sprinkle toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Wash and then cut zucchini into matchstick pieces (see pics above). Peel and julienne carrots or grate for smaller pieces. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine ingredients (minus the dipping sauce) together in the mixing bowl until a thick batter is created. It should be similar thickness as regular pancake batter, so adjust the amount of flour and water accordingly.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and add a generous amount of olive oil. When hot, pour half of the batter evenly over the pan.  Cook for about 7, 8 minutes or until the bottom and its edges are browned. Carefully flip over and cook for about 5 more minutes or until browned.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the dipping sauce and set aside. Sliced/diced green onions, onions, green or red peppers are common ingredients for the dipping sauce.
  5. Transfer to a paper-lined plate to remove excess oil and let cool for a few minutes. Plate whole or cut pancakes into desired pieces with the dipping sauce. Enjoy
*Like with many Korean pancakes, be sure to use a generous amount of oil when frying, the pancakes don’t stick to the pan and allows even cooking. There is nothing worse than torn/ripped pancakes unless the recipe calls for it.
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