You will always have a feast for your eyes when dining in a Korean restaurant. I am always filled with anticipation to see what banchan, or Korean side dishes, are brought out to accompany the meal I've just ordered.
I almost enjoy eating the banchan more than the main course. 🙂
Banchan are spectacularly beautiful. They are a feast for your eyes, as well as your palate. Many are typical: various types of kimchi, spinach side dish, potato side dish, radish, etc. You never know what side dishes you will be served! One side dish that I'm always excited to see is the Korean zucchini side dish, or Hobak Namul.
Hobak Namul - Korean Zucchini Side Dish
Let me introduce you to hobak namul. "Hobak" means zucchini, and "namul" means vegetable side dish. This dish is best made with Korean zucchini, however North American zucchini is fine to use as well, and just as delicious!
Korean zucchini, or aehobak, differs from the North American zucchini in that that flesh is more delicate and has thinner or smoother skin.
Very few ingredients are needed, and the hobak namul is so easy and quick to prepare. You will need your zucchini, some garlic, green onions, sesame oil, fish sauce, sugar, and Korean red pepper flakes (you can order here on Amazon or buy at your Asian grocery) and just a few minutes of your time and voila! Your hobak namul will be ready to eat in no time. 🙂
By the way, check out this great article from Kitchenistic on How To Peel Garlic Easily - Tips and Tricks!
Serve this delicious banchan as part of a Korean meal, with rice, or anytime you desire something to spice up your meal!
Here are some other Korean side dishes you may enjoy!
Quick and Easy Cucumber Kimchi
Korean Wild Green Onion Kimchi - Pa Kimchi
If you make this dish please let me know your feedback! You can email me at email@example.com, or comment below!!! Thank you!!!
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Korean Zucchini Side Dish (Hobak Namul)
- 1 zucchini either Korean or North American variety
- 1 green onion sliced finely
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ts sugar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Cut the ends off your zucchini. Slice in half lengthwise, and then cut into thin discs as shown in the image. Place in a colander or bowl and sprinkle ½ ts of salt over the zucchini. Leave for 10 minutes, and then using paper towels you'll want to wipe off the salt and then squeeze firmly to get rid of the excess water.
- Heat up your sesame oil (med high heat) on a skillet. Add the zucchini, and stir fry for around 5 min to soften. Cook a bit longer if necessary to soften.
- Add the garlic, green onion, fish sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes, and stir fry an additional minute.
- Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.
Great recipe! Growing up, my best friend's Mom was from Korea, and I have such fond memories of her cooking. I haven't made hobak namul for years, and this recipe was a wonderful way for me to reconnect with the comfort food from my childhood. With zucchinis coming in from the garden at warp speed now, I'll be keeping a constant pot of this ready as a side dish. Thank you!
Hi Anna! Thanks so much for your comments! I'm overjoyed to know that you liked the recipe, but moreso that it brought back memories from your childhood. That connection is something we all crave I think!! Thank you again Anna and take good care!! Grace
If I don’t have fish sauce, can I use soy sauce or 새우젓?
Thank you! I made it with soy sauce and it was delicious. 🙂
Hello! Thank you so much for trying with soy sauce and letting me know! This is so helpful to me because I can add this in the post to help others make a substitution if they don't have fish sauce. I cannot thank you enough! Have a great day! Grace
I’ve never known what to make with zucchinis and I love Korean food. Had all the ingredients, so quick to make and so delicious, Zucchinis are so hard on the outside that I no idea they required so little time to be ready. Thank you for this recipe!
Hi there! Thanks so very very much for trying out the recipe and taking the time to comment here! I'm overjoyed that you liked it! Thanks again and I wish you a wonderful day...take good care! Grace
Didn't really make it tbh haha, just used this recipe as a base for something else. I added soya sauce and fish sauce, also I added (very last minute impulsive add on) some oyster shrooms as I desperately needed to use them 🙂
So I made something very similar! But thanks for this recipe!
Hi Rio! Thanks so much for commenting and I'm super excited that you were inspired by the recipe and used it as a base for what sounds like an incredible dish! I'd love to know more!! 🙂 Thanks again and I wish you and your family a wonderful and safe year! Take care, Grace
This was absolutely delicious! Definitely going into my recipe arsenal.
Hi Karen! I'm super happy that you enjoyed the zucchini side dish! Thanks for taking the time to comment, and I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!! Take care! Grace 🙂
so yummy i added it to my beef bulgogi bowl. it was perfect.
Hi Diana! Thanks so much for trying out this recipe and I'm so overjoyed that you liked it!! I appreciate you taking the time to comment here as well! Happy New Year to you and your family and thanks again!! Grace 🙂
The recipe sounds easy and delicious, however, I have a family member who doesn't like spicy foods.
Can I still use the the red pepper flakes, but less?
Hi PJ! Thanks so much for your comments! Yes, I believe if you reduce the amount of red pepper flakes or eliminate it the dish should still taste good! Please if you do decide to make it would you let me know what you think? I would love to hear your feedback! Thanks so much and I wish you a great day! Grace
I come back to this recipe every few weeks or so. So Easy, so delicious. This is a perfect dish! Adds a bit of spicy, sweet, deliciousness to all sorts of asian rice bowl dishes. So versatile. Cant recommend enough!
Hi Hilary! You have absolutely made my day! Thank you ever so much for your kind comments and I'm over the moon happy that you enjoy this dish so much! Truly I am grateful for you! All the very best always, Grace
How long will it stay good for?
Hi Chris, thanks so much for your question! It's best to eat this within a couple of days, maybe 3 at best. If you do try it out I'd love to hear if you liked the dish. Thanks again, and hope you have a great week! Grace
My friend give me a lot o f zucchini but don’t how to cook it. We Filipino doesn’t cook that much of zucchini but I came across to your recipe so I tried it and in my surprise everybody in my family likes it. Thank you now I have a new vegetable recipe coming from you
Hi Mila! Thank you so very very much for trying this recipe and taking the time to comment here! I'm so very happy that your family likes the Korean Zucchini! May I also say that I LOVE Filipino cuisine! Thanks again and I wish you a wonderful day!! Grace
If I have a family who cant eat peper flakes or anything spice for health reasons would removing the pepper flakes ruin the dish
Perfect. I ran out of fish sauce and used soy+oyster sauce 50:50 instead, worked out excellent.
Hi Elvis! Thanks so very much for trying out this recipe and for taking the time to comment! I'm so so happy that you liked the dish and would love to try the oyster sauce sub myself! Thanks again and have a wonderful holiday season! Grace