Hobak Buchim (Zucchini Pancakes)

Korean savory pancakes made with summer zucchini are quick and easy to make and so delicious! Make these for a snack, an appetizer, or a light meal!
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What’s your favorite things to make with summer’s bountiful zucchinis? These Korean savory pancakes, called hobak buchim (호박부침) or buchimgae (부침개), are quick and easy to make and so delicious with summer zucchini! Perfect as a snack, an appetizer, or a light meal!

Over the years, I posted several different Korean savory pancakes. They are essential in Korean cuisine and made with all sorts of ingredients — kimchi (kimchijeon, 김치전), seafood and scallions (haemul pajeon, 해물파전), potato (gamjajeon, 감자전), garlic chives (buchujeon, 부추전), mung beans (nokdujeon, 녹두전),  and many more.  

If you wonder why the zucchini version is not called hobakjeon, it’s not wrong to call it hobakjeon, but hobakjeon generally refers to zucchini rounds that are pan-fried in egg batter.

This is a recipe I make over and over every summer. It was originally posted in August 2013. Here, I’m updating it with more information, new photos and minor changes to the recipe.  

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Zucchini and Vegetables

You can make these zucchini pancakes simply with a zucchini, but I like to throw in thinly sliced sweet onion and green hot chili peppers to complement. The onion adds delicious sweetness to the pancakes, and the hot chili peppers give a nice spicy kick, kal-kal-han-mat (칼칼한맛) as Koreans say. Or, try a little bit of perilla leaves (kkaennip, 깻잎) or garlic chives (buchu, 부추).   

Since zucchini contains lots of water, you will need to salt the julienned zucchini and squeeze out the liquid as much as you can, reserving the liquid for the batter. Squeezing will give a little bit of crunch to the zucchini. The zucchini-flavored liquid along with a lightly beaten egg is all you need for the batter.

Korean savory pancake batter

As I mentioned in the other Korean pancake recipes, commercially available savory pancake mix (buchimgaru, 부침가루) is best to use for Korean savory pancake mix. The ready-made mix typically includes flour, cornstarch and/or rice powder for crispy pancakes. It’s flavored with garlic and onion powder and seasoned with salt. If unavailable, use flour with a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch for this recipe. The cornstarch gives a slightly elastic texture and crispness to the pancakes.

This recipe makes 6 to 8 small pancakes. You can make 2 large pancakes instead if you want, and cut into small pieces before serving, or simply tear with the chopsticks to eat.

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More zucchini recipes:

Modeumjeon (Fish, Shrimp and Zucchini Pan-fried in Egg Batter)
Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)
Hobak Gochujang Jjigae (Korean Spicy Zucchini Stew)
Gaji Hobak Muchim (Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini with Korean Seasoning)
Doenjang Jjigae (Korean Soybean Paste Stew)

More Korean savory pancakes recipes

Kimchijeon (kimchi pancakes)
Haemul Pajeon (scallion seafood pancakes)
Buchujeon (garlic chives pancakes)
Nokdujeon (savory mung bean)
Gamjajeon (potato pancakes)

Have you tried this zucchini pancake recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on InstagramStay in touch by following me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Hobak Buchim (Zucchini Pancakes)

4.42 from 39 votes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe


  • 1 medium zucchini about 8 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 medium sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 2 green hot chili peppers thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup buchim garu (Korean savory pancake mix) or flour (see note)
  • 1 large egg (omit for a vegan version and add some water)
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)


  • Cut the zucchini into matchsticks. Place them in a bowl, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes until wilted and released some liquid. Squeeze the liquid out from the zucchini as much as possible, reserving the liquid in the bowl. Set the zucchini aside. 
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  • Add the egg and pancake mix (or flour) to the bowl with the zucchini squeezed mix. Mix everything well with a spoon, and then combine with the zucchini, onion and chili peppers. The zucchini mix may look stiff when mixing, but it will become more liquidly after a few minutes. If it’s still too stiff, mix in some water (2 to 3 tablespoons to start with).
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  • Heat a skillet with two tablespoons of oil over medium high 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 3 to 4 pancakes at once. Reduce the heat to medium, 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.
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Use 5 tablespoons all purpose flour with 3 tablespoons cornstarch if available.
This recipe makes 6 to 8 3-inch round pancakes, or two large pancakes.
This recipe was originally posted in August 2013 and has been updated here with minor changes. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @koreanbapsang or tag #koreanbapsang!

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating



  1. Reg Deneau says

    5 stars
    My first attempt at Korean cooking. We do have a wonderful Korean restaurant here in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico where I first tasted this dish. Your recipe was easy to follow and turned out perfectly. I did add some chopped garlic and a couple of tablespoons of dried vegetable flakes for color. The dish was perfect along with the Korean Chicken I prepared to go with it. Next up…trying to figure out how to make that wonderful Korean Snow…LOL>

    • Wow happy to hear you have a wonderful Korean restaurant in Mexico! Thank you so much for trying my recipe! Dried vegetable flakes sounds great.

  2. 5 stars
    The zucchini pancake was amazing will make it again.Thank You for sharing the recipe.

  3. I made this, this morning and it tastes great! But it was a bit soggy in the middle. I think because my zucchini pieces were cut bigger and I didn’t “squeeze” it like you suggested. So, a lot of the water was retained. I added a bit of chopped garlic for added flavor. It tasted great!!

  4. Your recipes remind me of my mother’s and I always go to your site to perfect my recipes. Thank you for your website and beautiful pix and recipes!

  5. Hello,
    Thank you so much for your delicious recipes! Is there a substitute for eggs in this recipe? My kids are allergic but I would love to make them this jeon. Thank you!

  6. Hi! Is there any good substitutions for the egg? My kids are allergic, but I would love to make them all kinds of jeon. Thank you!

    • You can simply omit it, and use a little more water for the batter. Hope this helps.

    • Laura Firebaugh says

      Hi Ji Young,
      You can also try a vegan egg replacers. My partner is vegan and so I’ve learned how to veganize a lot of my recipes. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer, you can also use it in baking, and any other recipe that calls for eggs. 🙂 Works really well and doesn’t affect taste at all!

  7. Thank you for having such a great website. I love Korean food and it is hard to find good recipes. I plan to try many of them. Out of curiosity, does Korean cuisine use any cured meats? I have a small basement and I think that would be fun. Or salted I suppose. I do live in a warm climate, so there is that! Your recipes are well written with great pictures!

    • Thank you! Yes Koreans traditionally cured meat various ways for preservation. For example, some people cure meat in doenjang, ferment soybean paste. I haven’t cured meat myself though.

  8. I stumbled upon your site recently, though we have eaten at Korean restaurants several times. Am happy to see dishes which can be created in my corner of the world too. I particularly love your pancakes!

  9. Jessica M Rhodes says

    5 stars
    Annyeong haseyo =_)
    My name is Jessa and Although, I am from the Philippines Sarang Korean food. I love all your recipes listed on your website. I will attempt to make your recipe” Hobak Buchim ” (Zucchini Pancakes) today 8/12/2019. I do eat Korean food everyday and specially fond of Kimchi. I love to cook but I’m sure I am not as good as you =_)



  10. sunshine says

    5 stars
    hi hyosun! thank you for the incredible recipe. when i was younger, my grandma always made us hobak buchim. honestly, i could just eat it as a meal alone. your buchim reminded me of hers, it was really tasty and fairly simple to make. my mom, who is such a big fan of my grandma’s pancakes, loved the taste of your recipe. so again, thank you!

    • Hooray! Mom approved!!! Thank you so much for stopping by to tell me the good news! Means a lot to me. Cheers!

  11. Helen Patterson says

    3 stars
    I cut my zucchini as shown and followed the recipe. The zucchini didn’t “wilt” not even after 20 minutes and didn’t release any fluids. If it hadn’t been for the onion and peppers I wouldn’t have had enough fluids to make a batter. At that I had to add some water. I try them again and use my own pancake batter and cut everything a lot smaller, maybe that helps. I mixed vegetable oil with sesame oil ( just a few drops). I think it made the pancakes better

    • It’s quite unusual for zucchini not to wilt after 20 minutes. Cutting the zucchini smaller will definitely help. The recipe says cut the zucchini into matchsticks. Adding a bit more salt will help too. Also, depending on the zucchini, the amount of the liquid being generated will vary, which is the reason the recipe says mix in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water if the batter is too stiff. Hope it turns out much better next time. Cheers!

  12. 5 stars
    Hi Hyosun,
    May I know how to prepare dipping sauces for these pancakes? Thank u!

  13. cheryl morton says

    How much flour?

  14. I am Korean and you have the most authentic and traditional preparation method. I truly commend you for not cutting corners and simplifying methods of Korean cooking. It takes discipline to cook the right way. For zucchini pancake, you do it my mom’s way of salting the vegetable to get the moisture out which prevents sogginess.

    Thank you for keeping Korean cooking tradition alive by not altering easier and convenient cooking method! You have proven again and again to me as the best website for authentic Korean cooking.

  15. Lilian Sumilat says

    Yesterday, my husband and I toke a Korean friend to eat at this Korean resturant and I want him to try the Black Cod dish with vegetables. I really love this dish to me is comfort food, I went there 1/2 hour earlier to order because it takes 25 minutes for them to prepare. He was so happy to eat this dish, he said “What a way to end the year, thank you.” That dish cost $40, so I decided to look up your block to see if you have the Black Cod receipe so I can make at home. I was so happy to see you have so many fish dishes, I will try them all and cook when my Korean future in laws come to visit in January 2019, thank you so much Hoysun.

  16. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe and so quick and easy! I’m addicted to them now! Lol

  17. Just a small correction. In your text, you say “Perfect as a snack, an appetizer, or a light vegan meal!” I think you mean ‘vegetarian,’ not vegan. Vegan food doesn’t contain any animal products, such as milk, eggs or honey. Since these contain egg, they are not vegan.

  18. I commented on your buchu jeon recipe page, but these are what I actually made, I now realize! I love your recipe! I make mine batter a little thinner, so they come out just a bit thicker than French crêpes, and love them that way as well. Today, I combined aehobak, sliced shallots, sliced 꽈리고추, plus buchu and perilla from the garden. I added a bit of fish sauce to the batter (thinking of how aehobak is often prepared with salted shrimp) in addition to the soup soy sauce, and used Chinese black vinegar for the dipping sauce. There are so many ways to play with this delicious recipe. I’m so grateful to you for introducing me to the idea!

  19. 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!

    • Hi Sheila – Any vinegar is fine. Use what you like to your taste. Thank you for the love! Hope you enjoy this recipe.

  20. 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???


  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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!

  24. I love Hobak Buchim! Yum!

  25. these look great :3 ty!

  26. Alfredo Di Stefano says

    I love your recipes. They easy to make and delicious!! Many THANKS.

  27. 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

  28. Evil Candy says

    Where did you get the seeds for korean zuccini? I’ve been searching EVERYWHERE for them!

  29. These were so simple and delicious– thank you for a wonderful recipe that I will use again and again.

  30. Holly | Beyond Kimchee says

    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.

  31. Sona - quick picks/pick quicks says

    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.