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Hobakjeon (Squash Pancake)

Courtesy Caroline Choe

Chef notes

Whether sliced or in small matchsticks, hobakjeon is as simple as pajeon to make, and it's very tasty. The moisture from the zucchini makes for a tender pancake with crispy edges.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking oil, for frying



In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, zucchini, water, toasted sesame oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Mix well until the batter runs smooth and there are no lumps, except for the bits of zucchini.


Set a nonstick frying over medium heat, coating the bottom of the pan with about 1/4 cup of cooking oil. Let the oil heat for about 1 minute or wait until the oil is shimmering to begin frying.


Once the oil is heated, carefully ladle in the batter (being wary of possible backsplash).


Allow the pancake to cook on both sides for about 3 to 5 minutes each, or until both sides are golden-brown (it might appear a bit browner just because of the zucchini).


Transfer the pancake to a plate. Season the top with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cut into sections and serve hot.