Monday, April 30, 2012

Secret Recipe Club: Hobak Jeon (Fried Zucchini) with bonus dipping sauce

This month's Secret Recipe Club rendition comes from Angel's Homestead. As I scanned through her recipes, I found her recipe for Fried Zucchini. I'm certain she has no idea (until today) that her recipe is as Korean as King Sejong.

I made a couple of changes to showcase the dish's Korean side as 호박전 hobak jeon. Ae-hobak (애호박), or Korean zucchini, is shorter, fatter and lighter green than the Italian versions most of us grew up eating.

Because the vegetable is smaller and I have a smaller family to feed, I downsized the recipe to Korean proportions.

Hobak Jeon (호박전) aka Fried Zucchini

1-2 Korean zucchini
1/2 cup Korean pancake mix (preseasoned with garlic powder, salt and pepper)
1/2 to 3/4 cup of water
High-temperature oil for frying (safflower, coconut, etc.)


  1. Wash zucchini, then cut into thin slices. (Throw away the end pieces.) Set aside.
  2. Heat oil (about 1/8 inch deep) over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet.
  3. Mix the pancake batter and water according to the directions.
  4. Dip the zucchini slices into the batter and mix until the slices are coated.
  5. Place the zucchini rounds in the pan to fry, browning both sides. Times vary on this because of water content in the zucchini, but start with frying for two to three minutes per side.
  6. Keep an eye on the frying. If the oil starts to smoke, turn the heat down some and allow the oil to cool a little before frying more zucchini. The rounds will burn, if left unwatched.
  7. Place the browned zucchini slices onto a plate lined with an absorbent material such as paper towels. Serve immediately for full flavor.

As a bonus, here's a simple Korean dipping sauce recipe to accompany your hobak jeon.

Yujacha Dipping Sauce

The Kimchi Chronicles: Korean Cooking for an American Kitchen, page 168

1 tablespoon 유자차 yujacha (Korean citron marmalade)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon 고추가루 gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
pinch ginger, freshly grated


Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

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