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Zucchini Pancakes (Hobakjeon)

Zucchini Pancakes (Hobakjeon)

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I got this recipe from a Korean cooking blog called Maangchi.com for zucchini pancakes. The Korean name for this is Hobakjeon (squash pancake). One day I was craving potato latkes and breaded zucchini with Italian breadcrumbs.  And I didn’€t have potatoes, or Italian breadcrumbs. So I looked up zucchini pancake and found this recipe. I’ve made it twice a week for weeks now. It’s super easy, as you only need 5 main ingredients: zucchini, flour, water, salt and oil. Maangchi serves this with a dipping sauce made with soy sauce, but I like it best with just a sprinkle of sea salt right after frying.

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Maangchi also uses a bit of sesame oil at the end of frying, so the sesame permeates the pancake creating a nice aroma and flavor. You can do this if you have sesame oil and want a hint of that Asian taste. I only do this when I’€™m making the soy dipping sauce. You can check out ingredients and instructions for the sauce on her website. I’ll just keep mine simple for now.

Zucchini Pancake – makes 1 pancake

adapted from maangchi.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups julienned zucchini
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

1) In a bowl, combine julienned zucchini, flour, water and salt.

2) In a large frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp. oil on medium high heat. Using a spoon, spread zucchini mixture evenly onto the pan. Swish and tilt the pan to ensure the oil is evenly coating the bottom of the pancake and the pancake isn’€t sticking to the pan.

3) After a few minutes peak underneath the pancake to see if it is browning. Using a spatula, flip the pancake to cook the other side (or if you’re a master chef, flip it without the spatula). Be careful with splattering oil. Use the spatula to press down on the pancake every so often. Add a bit more oil if necessary.

4) When both sides are golden brown and crispy, transfer pancake onto a dish. Sprinkle salt on top and serve.

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If you’€re not a professional vegetable chopper (I think I’m a slow-poke though people tell me I’€m pretty fast) this is the fastest way for me to julienne a zucchini:

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Chop off the ends and discard them. Slice the zucchini into even, thin strips like this. Should take about 2 seconds.

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Taking a stack at a time, chop those into thin strips.

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And in about 10-12 seconds you’€ll have this giant mess.

Okay, maybe it’€ll take a couple minutes.

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In a bowl, combine julienned zucchini, flour, water and salt.

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In a large frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp. oil on medium high heat. Using a spoon, spread zucchini mixture evenly onto the pan. Swish and tilt the pan to ensure the oil is evenly coating the bottom of the pancake and the pancake isn’€t sticking to the pan.

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After a few minutes peak underneath the pancake to see if it is browning. Using a spatula, flip the pancake to cook the other side (or if you’€re a master chef, flip it without the spatula). Be careful with splattering oil. It will splatter if you added more oil than you should (in my case, I usually do). So if you’re a klutz, hold two spatulas using oven mitts and wear an apron and face mask.

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Use the spatula to press down on the pancake every so often. Add a bit more oil if necessary.

Sometimes I get a little ahead of myself and turn it before its a deep golden brown. It’€s ok, just flip it over again and brown until you’€re satisfied with it.

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When both sides are golden brown and crispy, transfer pancake onto a dish. Sprinkle salt on top and serve.

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I have two pancakes here because I used an entire zucchini, which yielded 3 cups of zucchini rather than the 1 1/2 cup for one pancake. And that way my husband and I get our own because we’re a couple of fatties. Ok I speak for myself, I wanted my own pancake. Because I’€m the fatty.

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If you find that you wanted the pancake more doughy/chewy on the inside, add an extra bit of water. If you wanted it less doughy, reduce the amount of water. Fiddle around with the proportions until you’€re happy with it. You’€ll be making this a lot this summer as people leave you baskets of squash at your door.



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