Hobak Jeon (Pan-fried Zucchini in Egg Batter)

These hobak jeon (Korean zucchini pancakes) are quickly fried in an egg mixture. It’s delicious with bountiful zucchini in summer!

Zucchini season has arrived! Do you grow any? I have a few plants in my backyard, and they have been very productive. I’ve been making hobak buchim (zucchini dumplings), hobak mandu (zucchini dumplings), hobak bokkeum (fried zucchini), gochujang jjigae (spicy stews), and these hobak jeon.

I have hobak jeon as part of my modeum jeon recipe (a mix of different variations of jeon), but decided that this zucchini version needed to be highlighted as a summer favorite!

What is jeon?

Jeon (or jeon) is a collective term referring to rusk-fried foods in Korean cuisine. There are pretty much two types of jeon. The first type is pancake-like dishes, such as pajeon, buchujeon, gamgagyeon, kimcheon, nokdogion, and minarijeon. For these, the ingredients are mixed with the flour mixture and then fried into crispy pancakes.

For the other type, the small pieces of ingredients are fried individually in the egg mixture to create smooth skin. Some are stuffed with filling before being covered with egg mixture as in kkaennip jeon.

DSC3614 - Hobak Jeon (fried zucchini in egg mixture)

Which zucchini to use

Zucchini comes in all shapes, sizes, and shades of colors. You can use any kind of delicate zucchini, such as green zucchini and gray zucchini. I like to use Korean zucchini, which I grow and is also available in Korean markets in the summer. Korean zucchini is called aehobak (애호박), meaning little gourd. It has a thin yellow-green skin and tender yellowish flesh, it is very tender and sweet.

Look for zucchini that is firm and slender, but not too small and thin. I love the 2-inch zucchini for this dish.

DSC1000 2 - Hobak Jeon (fried zucchini in egg mixture)

How to store zucchini

I store zucchini wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag. This keeps it fresh for a week or two in my fridge. You can also wrap it in saran wrap instead. I have tried both methods and they work well.

Tips for making hopak jeon

  1. Do not cut the zucchini into very thin slices. I like to cut it down to about an inch thick to get a good texture for the final dish.
  2. Discard the excess water from the salted zucchini, if available. A little surface moisture is good for scraping flour.
  3. Don’t use too much oil. You don’t want these tiny dishes that are too oily. Let the natural taste of vegetables shine through.
  4. Do not overcook or burn. Zucchini slices don’t take long to cook. It should be a little hard on the bite and a little golden.
  5. Garnish with small pieces of red pepper and/or green leafy minari, sukgat, or parsley, but it’s totally optional!

More zucchini recipes

Hobak Buchim (zucchini pancakes)
Hobak bok keum (fried zucchini)
Hobak mandu (zucchini dumpling)
Gochujang jjigae (spicy stew with zucchini)

DSC3764 - Hobak jeon (fried zucchini in egg mixture)

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DSC1000 2500x500 - Hobak Jeon (fried zucchini in egg mixture)

Hobak jeon (fried zucchini in egg mixture)


Preparation time: 10 Minutes

Cooking time: 10 Minutes

15 Minutes

stakes: 4

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Keep any leftover jeon in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and reheat briefly in a dry skillet over medium heat.

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