Hobak Buchim (Zucchini Pancakes)


My zucchini plants are finally producing a steady flow of sweet and tender Korean zucchinis. One of my favorite things to make with summer zucchinis is hobak buchim (호박부침). Like pajeon and kimchi jeon, hobak buchim (also called buchimgae) is a variation of Korean savory pancakes. The zucchini version is also called hobakjeon, but hobakjeon traditionally refers to zucchini rounds that are pan-fried in egg batter. You can make this recipe simply with zucchini, or add some other vegetables such as perilla leaves, chili peppers, scallions, and/or onions to complement. I added sliced sweet onions in this recipe. I usually salt the julienned zucchinis and squeeze out the liquid for a crunchy texture. I save the zucchini-flavored liquid to put into the batter. This recipe makes a few small pancakes, but you can make them larger, and cut into small pieces before serving, or simply tear with the chopsticks as you eat. I made these for my 11 year-old nephew who stayed over this past weekend. He gobbled up a few in no time.


Makes 8 3-inch rounds
1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup flour or buchim garu (Korean ready-made pancake mix)
1 egg
vegetable or canola oil for frying

Cut the zucchini into match sticks. Place them in a bowl, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let sit for about 15 minutes until wilted and released some liquid. Squeeze the liquid out from the zucchini, reserving the liquid in the bowl. (Squeezing will give a bit of crunch to the zucchini, but you can skip it if you want.)

Add the onion slices, egg, and flour (or buchim garu) to the bowl. Mix well with a spoon. If the zucchini mix is too stiff, add a tablespoon or two of water.

Heat a skillet with two tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add about 2 heaping tablespoons of the batter and spread it evenly into a thin round shape. Depending on the size of your pan, you can cook 4 to 5 pancakes at once. Reduce the heat to medium low, and cook until the bottom is light golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Serve hot with a dipping sauce.

Diping Sauce:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
pinch of black pepper

Leave a Comment



  1. wow !!this is such an interesting munch. definitely will try. but beleive i can do it with normal panckae mix. first time here..you have a lovely blog.
  2. If I have a plate full of these pancakes and the dipping sauce to go with, my day would be so much more comforting. Lovely recipe, Hyosun!
    • If you were near me, I'd make a plate full and deliver to you to help you feel a little better from your injury. Hope you're recovering well. Thanks for coming by.
  3. These were so simple and delicious-- thank you for a wonderful recipe that I will use again and again.
  4. Where did you get the seeds for korean zuccini? I've been searching EVERYWHERE for them!
  5. I had some extra hobak in my fridge that I had set aside for quiche but I just didn't feel like making it. Thanks for again for you awesome site. Such a life saver! Gamsahamnida. =D
  6. I love your recipes. They easy to make and delicious!! Many THANKS.
  7. these look great :3 ty!
  8. I love Hobak Buchim! Yum!
  9. Hi, I'm friends with your son and he told me about your website. I tried the Zucchini Pancakes last night to serve with my parent's Chinese dinner, which included braised beef and daikon stew, and it was a perfect side dish! I was surprised at how well seasoned it tasted even though all I put in there was a little bit of salt! (note: i used the Korean panacake mix, and not just flour or regular pancake flour). I really enjoyed this simple recipe and want to experiment with other vegetables and maybe even put fish or crab meat in. Do you recommend any other ingredients?
    • Hi Melody - Nice to meet you here. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe. Sometimes, we make similar pancakes with garlic chives. You don't need to pre-salt the chives as you did with zucchinis in this recipe. You can add some thinly sliced onion, perilla leaves and/or chili peppers for additional flavors and a spicy kick if you like. Another popular pancake ingredient is thinly sliced kimchi. The resulting pancake is called kimchijeon. Ground or thinly sliced pork, shrimp and squid are also common additions to these kinds of savory pancakes. There are a few different types of Korean pancake recipes on my blog. Search "jeon" or "pancakes" to get some other ideas. Hope this helps, but let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!
  10. Made these yesterday and they were easy and yummy! I just have to get better at chopping zucchini into thinner matchsticks. My veggie pieces were larger than yours but they still tasted great! Thanks for the recipe :-). If you haven't seen this ad from McCormick spices, you'll probably love it. It's such a sweet ad about a Korean-American woman remembering her mother making zucchini pancakes when she was a child. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6UG7Ue4H6g
  11. Christine says:
    Hello, what are the ingredients in buchim garu? I would like to make it myself, since I can't find it, and I know it would be better than plain flour.
  12. Angela Kahl says:
    Sitting in Changwon, outside of Busan. Just made this recipe for lunch, though I threw in a handful of green gochus because GOCHU. Seriously, how did I ever live before Korean food??? :3
  13. Sheila Brown says:
    Hi, I bought some buchim garu the other day, I have a courgette in the fridge so I think I should make some of these today. However, I was wondering what kind of vinegar should I use in the dipping sauce? Love your website!