Zucchini Pancakes, Korean style

shredded zucchiniI love the variety of fruits and vegetables that summer brings en masse. We go through the contents of our CSA box like pirates looking at their bounty after a successful raid.

“Aarrgh – more zucchini and lettuce” I tell Mike.

Having such an abundance of certain ingredients has pushed us to experiment and explore new recipes. If you’re eating beets or zucchini five days a week, you need more than one way to prepare them or you quickly lose interest.

I remember back to my summer in Beijing. Every day brought an onslaught of new sensory experiences – sights, sounds, smells and especially flavors. Like this summer, that year was exceptionally hot. I remember sweating in places that I didn’t know had sweat glands! Air conditioning was scarce and always appreciated. One of my classmate’s parents were also living in Beijing, working for the US State Department. They graciously invited us all over for dinner several times. What a meal they would give us! It was a feast in the lap of luxury, compared to our humble student dormitory existence. With Korean, Chinese and American heritage, the food that came out of their kitchen amazed and delighted me.

I especially remember this one appetizer that they always served. We would all clamor for more. It was a Korean pancake, very different from the Chinese pancake dishes I’d become accustomed to.  Remembering that this dish prominently featured zucchini, I was pleased to find another recipe to bring into the rotation for using our bounty of fresh zucchini.

zucchini pancakes

Hobak Jeon – Korean Zucchini Pancakes
2 medium zucchini
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 onion, diced
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. pickle juice
1 c. all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt + pinch

1. Grate zucchini and squeeze out excess liquid.
2. Heat saucepan over medium heat. Add vegetable and olive oil.
3. Saute zucchini 1-2 minutes. Should still be bright green and slightly crunchy.

Zucchini shreds, up close and personal4. Sprinkle with pinch salt.
5. Set aside to cool.
6. In separate bowl, mix water, pickle juice, flour, egg, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
7. Add zucchini and chopped onion.
8. Stir until well mixed.
9. Heat skillet over high heat, coat pan with olive oil.
10. Ladle spoonfuls of batter into pan.
11. When bubbles start to form, flip pancake.
12. Cook until golden.
13. Serve with dipping sauce of soy sauce and rice vinegar (2:1 ratio).

zucchini pancakes