If you are looking for a veggie filled snack or side dish, you have to try these korean-style zucchini pancakes or hobak buchim. They are super simple, yet filled with flavor. I love how crispy they get on the outside.
Ingredients for Zucchini Pancakes
Before making this recipe, make sure you have all of the ingredients you need. Swaps and alternatives are listed next to each ingredient.
- Zucchini: Other alternatives are listed in the section below.
- All-purpose flour: You can also use a gluten-free all purpose flour to make this recipe celiac friendly.
- Water: Tap water will do just fine for these pancakes.
- Salt: I like using kosher salt.
- Sesame oil: Adds some extra flavor to the dish, but it’s optional.
- Cooking oil: You can use olive, canola, vegetable or avocado oil.
How to make Zucchini Pancakes
Cut zucchini into small, matchstick thin slices. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 15 minutes, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze the excess moisture out of the zucchini.
Transfer the zucchini into a clean bowl and add flour, water and sesame oil. Use a large spoon or spatula to gently fold the mixture until well combined.
In a pan over medium heat, add canola oil. Once hot, add half of the batter and use a spatula to form into a flat pancake. Cook until crispy on one side, about 3-4 minutes, then flip. Continue to cook until both sides are crispy.
Transfer to a plate and enjoy with a dipping sauce as a side dish or snack.
Alternatives to zucchini
If you dislike zucchini or simply don’t have any on hand, luckily there are a few alternatives you can try out for this recipe.
- Butternut squash
- Yellow squash
- Bell peppers
Is zucchini good for you?
Yes! Zucchini is a very nutritious vegetable. One cup of cooked zucchini contains about 30 calories, 2 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fat. It’s a good source of folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium and potassium.
Nutritionally, you are getting a lot of bang for a buck. It also contains a good amount of fiber and water, meaning it can help keep you fuller for longer. This could potentially aid in weight loss if that is your goal.
How to make this recipe low fat
If you are concerned about the amount of oil used in this recipe, don’t fret. You can easily make this recipe low fat in a variety of ways. You would simply need to modify the cooking methods and ingredient amounts.
Firstly, you can use less oil in this recipe. Instead of one tablespoon of canola oil or one tablespoon of sesame oil, reduce both of these (or one of these) to one teaspoon. Just make sure to use a non-stick pan to ensure the pancake doesn’t stick to the pan.
Alternatively, you can change the method of cooking you use. Instead of pan frying the zucchini pancake, you can cook it in the oven. I would recommend using a high heat about 400 degrees Fahrenheit and flipping halfway through the cooking process to ensure both sides are browned. You will likely need a bit of oil to grease the baking sheet though.
What to serve this with
You can have this by itself as a snack, or you can serve it as a side dish with a protein dish. Since this recipe contains vegetables (zucchini), fats (canola and sesame oil) and grain (all-purpose flour) the only thing missing is a good source of protein.
Personally, I would pair this with barbeque meatballs, fried tofu, bulgogi, fried fish, protein stir fry, spicy chicken or roast chicken. But really any high protein main dish would work well with these zucchini pancakes.
How to store the leftovers
If you have leftovers, I recommend storing them in an airtight container in your refrigerator or freezer. They should last in your refrigerator for 2-3 days and up to 6 months in the freezer.
When cooking from refrigerated, simply heat up in the microwave, warm up in a pan or heat up in the oven. Reheating in a pan or oven is the best way to maintain the crispiness of the pancake.
If cooking from frozen, I recommend using the same methods, but letting it defrost in the refrigerator for about 6-8 hours before reheating.
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Korean-Style Zucchini Pancakes (Hobak Buchim)
- 2 small zucchinis
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- Cut zucchini into small, matchstick thin slices. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 15 minutes, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze the excess moisture out of the zucchini.
- Transfer the zucchini into a clean bowl and add flour, water and sesame oil. Use a large spoon or spatula to gently fold the mixture until well combined.
- In a pan over medium heat, add canola oil. Once hot, add half of the batter and use a spatula to form into a flat pancake. Cook until crispy on one side, about 3-4 minutes, then flip. Continue to cook until both sides are crispy.
- Transfer to a plate and enjoy with a dipping sauce as a side dish or snack.