Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)

This is a simple summer side dish that is great served with meat dishes such as bulgogi, galbi, or jeyuk bokkeum. I made it with a beautiful round zucchini from my container garden, but you can use any variety of zucchini, which happens to be plentiful this time of the year. The classic seasoning for this dish is saeujeot (or saewoojeot) which is salted and fermented tiny shrimp. It's an ingredient mostly used in kimchi but has a distinct savory flavor that works wonderfully with zucchini. If unavailable, substitute it with fish sauce or simply season with salt to taste.

1 medium zucchini (about 10 - 12 ounces)
2 or 3 teaspoons saeujeot (or fish sauce)
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

2 tablespoons water

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise (I cut mine into quarters because mine was round). Then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices.

You can use saeujeot as is or finely chopped. This is very salty, so use 2 teaspoons first and add more if needed.

Heat a pan with the oil over medium high heat. Add the zucchini and saeujeot (or fish sauce) to the pan. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring well.

Add the remaining ingredients and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for an additional 1 - 2 minutes, stirring, until the zucchini is softened and turns translucent.


  1. I remember my mum making this, but my maid seemed to make the Indonesian version more often. This is like a universal stir fry recipe. This is the Indonesian version:

    It's funny how good food have roots so much alike.

  2. I love zucchini and I think I've tried something similar to this at one of our local Korean restaurants, which I really enjoyed. I never thought to saute zucchini as a side dish. I'm always adding it to a stir-fry or pasta sauce or soup, and I also like it grilled but never thought to serve it this way. Your dish actually reminds me that my mom used to saute zucchini as a side but I can't believe I never remembered it until now! Need to go buy some zucchini... :)

  3. Pierre - Your Indonesian version looks delicious too. I will try to make it one day. Thanks for stopping by.

    Judy - I am really curious how your mom does her zucchini side dish. I am sure it's delicious though. Yea, go out get some zucchini. They are certainly abundant out there these days.