Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)

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This is a simple summer side dish that’s great served with meat dishes such as bulgogi, galbi, or jeyuk bokkeum or in bibimbap. 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 year.
The classic seasoning for stir-fried zucchini is saeujeot (or saewujeot),새우젓, which is salted and fermented tiny shrimp. Zucchini and saeujeot — a match made in heaven!
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.  
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1 medium zucchini (about 10 – 12 ounces)hobak bokkeum1 300x200 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)
2 or 3 teaspoons saeujeot (or fish sauce or salt to taste)
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 scallion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

hobak bokkeum2 300x200 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise (I cut mine into quarters because mine was round). Then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices.

hobak bokkeum3 300x200 - 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 bokkeum4 300x200 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)Heat a pan with the oil over medium high heat. Add the zucchini, garlic and saeujeot (or fish sauce) to the pan. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring well.


hobak bokkeum5 300x200 - Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)Add the remaining ingredients and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for another minute or two, stirring, until the zucchini is softened and turns translucent.

Leave a Comment



  1. Quynh Nguyen says

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

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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… 🙂

  6. 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.