Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)

A simple Korean side dish you can make with abundant summer zucchinis!  It’s also great in bibimbpap.
DSC2558 2 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)

This stir-fried zucchini is one of my favorite summer side dishes (banchan, 반찬)! It’s delicious with summer zucchinis.
Of course, it goes well with any Korean meal, especially meat dishes such as bulgogi, galbi, or jeyuk bokkeum or in bibimbap.
My preference is to make this dish with Korean zucchinis called aehobak (애호박), meaning young squash, if available. Aehobak has the shape of regular zucchini, but with a lighter green color, thinner skin, and more delicate yellowish flesh. There are also round shaped varieties of aehobak. These are available in summer months around here. 
However, you can make this dish with any zucchini varieties, such as grey zucchini, black beauty, etc.
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This dish can be vegan if you use salt or soup soy sauce (gukganjang) to season. However, the classic seasoning for this Korean side dish is saeujeot (or saewujeot, 새우젓), which is salted and fermented tiny shrimp. It adds a delicious savory flavor to the zucchini. Fish sauce works as well. 
DSC 0108 1 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)
Saeujeot is a staple ingredient most commonly used in kimchi but its distinct savory flavor works wonderfully as a seasoning for various other dishes such as gyeran jjim (steamed egg), sundubu jjigae (soft tofu jjigae), kongnamul guk (soybean sprout soup) and bossam (boiled pork). If you have leftover saeujeot from making kimchi, keep it in the freezer in a freezer bag. It won’t freeze because of the high level of salt content, but will keep well for a long time.  
You can keep this zucchini side dish in the fridge up to 4 days if it lasts that long.

More zucchini recipes

Hobak buchim
Gochujang stew with zucchini
Hobak madu (zucchini dumplings)

DSC2664 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)

Have you tried this stir-fried zucchini recipe? Please rate the recipe below and leave a comment! Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram. 
DSC2558 2 350x350 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)

Hobak bokkeum

4.5 from 10 votes
Side Dish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe


  • 1 medium zucchini (about 10 - 12 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons saeujeot (salted shrimp) or salt to taste or fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic cloves
  • 1 scallion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (preferably crushed)


  • Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise (cut into quarters if using a round zucchini). Then cut crosswise into about 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick slices.
    DSC 0079 640x428 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)
  • You can use saeujeot as is or finely chopped. This is very salty, so use 2 teaspoons first and add more if needed.
    hobak bokkeum3 e1596165407360 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)
  • Heat a pan with the oil over medium high heat. Add the zucchini, garlic and saeujeot (or salt or fish sauce) to the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring well. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan while stir frying. You can add another spoon or two of water if the pan is dry.
    DSC 0083 640x428 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)
  • Add the scallion, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Continue to cook until the zucchini is softened and turns translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overcook. Taste and add more salted shrimp or salt if necessary.
    DSC 0087 640x428 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)
Tried this recipe?Mention @koreanbapsang or tag #koreanbapsang!

This recipe was originally posted in July 2011. Here, I have updated it with new photos, more information and improvements to the recipe.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating



  1. Aloysius Rho says

    5 stars
    I LOVE this!!!! Brings me back to my childhood. My mom used to make this all summer long, as a side dish or with gooksoo.
    I really enjoy all your recipes – hope you realize how much happiness you bring to people! Thanks so much!!!

  2. Thank you for making this website! I have been trying to search out Korean side dishes but have not had the luck I would hope. Most google searches for Korean side dishes focus more on the main dishes. Which is great except it didn’t really explain side dishes. Finally, your blog came up, and just scrolling through I can already see it’s exactly what I’m looking for. I’m very new to Korean dishes and this is just the site I need to get me going. Thanks again for all the time and detail you’ve put in.

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! I’ll have to try this with my summer squash too!

  4. Quynh Nguyen says

    these are wonderful recipes! Simply GREAT!
    Thank you for sharing.

  5. Made this in under 10 minutes! Thanks for this simple side dish

  6. This dish was lovely, it was a great addition to our Korean meal. Thank you for sharing this quick and easy to make dish. The results were awesome. I loved the flavor and texture of the cooked zucchini. We will enjoy again. Made for What’s on the Menu tag game 2020.

  7. Hyosun Ro says

    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.

  8. 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… 🙂

  9. 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: http://littlehungryheart.blogspot.com/2011/05/indonesian-chokochayote-stir-fry.html

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