Hobak Namul

This quick-cooking side dish is a perfect way to bring a taste of your favorite Korean BBQ restaurant to your kitchen! Hobak namul (literally translating to “zucchini side dish”) blends the freshness of zucchini with savory flavors of fish sauce and garlic, along with a perfect kick of heat from Korean chili powder.

If you want to make this vegetarian/vegan friendly, there are a couple of options that you can use to substitute for the fish sauce. One is vegan fish sauce, which is made from a combination of shiitake mushrooms, liquid aminos, and soy sauce. Another is coconut aminos, which works great if you’re sensitive to gluten or soy (just be aware that coconut aminos give the dish a slightly sweeter flavor).

This dish is traditionally served chilled or at room temperature, but I honestly enjoy it just as much when it’s hot off the stove. No matter which temperature you pick, you’re going to love this!

Hobak Namul

1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8”-thick half-rounds

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp mild-flavored oil (e.g. avocado oil or vegetable oil)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp Korean chili powder

Put the zucchini pieces in a small mixing bowl; sprinkle the pieces evenly with the salt, then let them rest in a colander for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pieces to paper towels, and gently squeeze out the zucchini to drain out the extra water.

Place a sauté pan on medium-high heat, and pour the oils in. Once the pan is hot, toss in the zucchini, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, fish sauce, and Korean chili powder, tossing to coat evenly, then cook for another minute. Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature. Serve either chilled or at room temperature.

Serves about 2.


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