Korean Zucchini Fritters (Hobak Jeon). These crispy zucchini fritters is one of my favorite Korean recipes! A delicious and healthy way to enjoy your vegetables.
What is Hobak Jeon?
Hobak Jeon 호박전. "Hobak" generically means squash and "Jeon" means pancake in Korean. Furthermore, it's a Korean zucchinis side dish made of sliced zucchini coated in flour and egg pan fried in oil.
Additionally, this Korean food is served hot or at room temperature with a savory tangy dipping sauce. This Korean zucchini recipe is commonly served with steamed rice along with many other banchans, which is a translation for "side dishes" in Korean. It's quite popular in Korean cuisine and very simple to make at home!
Korean zucchini fritters can be enjoyed any time of the year, however it's most popular served in the summer time or on Korean New Year's Day or Korean Thanksgiving day.
What do Korean Zucchini Fritters taste like?
These zucchini fritters are scrumptious! They have a crispier exterior with a tender middle. Additionally, a great way to enjoy them is with a sesame soy sauce vinegar dip. The dip really compliments the flavors of this Korean zucchini fritters recipe and is a must! They are incredibly versatile, healthy and pair well with many other main dishes.
Furthermore, I love making this dish as it's a great way to get in additional fiber in a delicious way. Usually, I pair this dish with white rice, and other side dishes like kimchi, stir fried fish cakes, tuna pancakes, beansprouts, and spinach. It's actually fantastic for meal prep as they can be reheated in the pan or more easily in the microwave.
Quick & Easy
My Korean fritters recipe is quick and simple to make at home. The fritters and sauce each require minimal ingredients and most of the ingredients can be found at your local Korean market or select Western grocers that carry Asian ingredients.
You're simply salting the sliced zucchinis for about 10 minutes to draw out excess water and coating them in flour and egg. Cooking them in a large non-stick frying pan and enjoying them with your 4 ingredient dipping sauce!
The below ingredients are required for this Korean Fritters recipe:
- green zucchinis: Fresh zucchinis are important for this recipe and can be found at any grocery store. I like using Italian zucchini for this dish.
- large eggs: fresh eggs are recommended for this dish. I like using the ones with Omega 3's for that bright yellow yolk.
- salt: 1 teaspoon salt to season the zucchinis and to draw out as much moisture as possible. A little bit of salt goes a long way! Tip: Use paper towels to soak up as much liquid as possible.
- sesame oil: this adds a nutty flavor to the egg and zucchinis
- all purpose flour: or feel free to substitute with any gluten free flour of your choice.
- neutral oil: any flavorless oil such as avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil. Avoid olive oil, coconut oil, or sesame oil as they are overpowering in scent.
Korean fried zucchini sauce:
- regular soy sauce: just your all purpose soy sauce, not dark soy sauce. If you have light soy sauce or low-sodium soy sauce, please add to taste as the first is saltier.
- rice vinegar
- sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds
- red pepper flakes, red chili flakes, sliced red chilli or green chilli (for optional spice)
Garnish: green onion or spring onion
How to Make Korean Zucchini Fritters
Below are steps on how to make this zucchini jeon recipe:
Firstly slice zucchini into ¼-inch-thick slices, removing the ends. Place sliced zucchini onto cutting board in a single layer.
Secondly, sprinkle salt on both sides of zucchini slices. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes to draw out excess liquid. Then lightly dab zucchini with a clean kitchen paper towel to soak up the liquid.
Prepare a shallow bowl of flour. Evenly coat zucchini slices in flour, ensuring no bald spots. Shake off excess flour so it's a thin batter of flour.
Afterwards transfer floured zucchini in a single layer onto a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Do not overlap them. Alternatively, you may fill a clean plastic bag with flour and add zucchini slices into the bag to toss and coat but you may need more flour.
Then in a small mixing bowl, beat eggs and sesame oil.
In a large skillet on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, dip one floured zucchini slice into the egg batter and lower into pan. Continue most of the pan is filled but do not overcrowd the pan.
Fry on each side until yellow golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer cooked fritters onto a wire rack or a paper towel lined plate for excess oil to drip off to prevent soggy fritters. Repeat entire process for remaining batch.
Meanwhile combine dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Lastly, enjoy zucchini fritters with dip!
Storage for Korean Zucchini Fritters
These Korean zucchini pancakes will last 2-3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It's best consumed same day as they will become soggier with time.
Can I use other squash to make this recipe?
Yes! However, I recommend any squash that are similar in in size such as Gourmet Gold (yellow squash), Gadzukes, Cocozelle, Zephyr, or Black beauty squash.
May I use other vegetables for this?
I wouldn't recommend it as it may not turn out well. The reason why this works with squash is they can be sliced into flat circular pieces that can lie flat on a hot pan creating that crispy exterior. Specifically, squash is also tender in the middle, whereas if this was done with other vegetables it won't have that tender texture.
May I use gluten-free flour for the flour batter?
Yes! It should work fine. However, I would strongly not recommend using a coarse flour like almond flour.
Other Korean side dishes you may like!
- Korean Fish Cake Stir-Fry
- Korean Cucumber Salad
- Korean Bean Sprout Salad
- Korean Spinach Side Dish
- Mayak Eggs
- Gamja Jorim
- Gyeran Mari Korean Rolled Omelette
The Best Korean Zucchini Fritters (Hobak Jeon)
- 0.885 lb zucchini or 2 x 7-inch long zucchinis
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil toasted
- ¼ cup all purpose flour or cornstarch/potato starch or tapioca starch for extra crispiness!
- 2 tablespoon oil any flavorless oil
- 2 tablespoon regular soy sauce regular kind (not dark soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil toasted
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds toasted
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
- Slice zucchini into ¼-inch-thick slices, removing the ends. Place sliced zucchini onto cutting board in a single layer.
- Sprinkle salt on both sides of zucchini slices. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes to draw out excess liquid. Then lightly dab zucchini with a clean kitchen paper towel to soak up the liquid.
- Prepare a shallow bowl of flour or cornstarch. Evenly coat zucchini slices in flour or starch, ensuring no bald spots. Shake off excess flour or starch. (Alternatively, you may fill a clean plastic bag with flour and add zucchini slices into the bag to toss and coat but you may need more flour).
- Place coated zucchini in a single layer onto a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Do not overlap them.
- In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs and sesame oil.
- In a large skillet on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, dip one floured zucchini slice into the egg batter and lower into pan. Continue most of the pan is filled but do not overcrowd the pan.
- Fry on each side until yellow golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer cooked fritters onto a wire rack or a paper towel lined plate for excess oil to drip off to prevent soggy fritters. Repeat entire process for remaining batch.
- Combine dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Enjoy zucchini fritters with dip!
Did you enjoy my recipe?