Friends, it’s time to expand your food horizons. While we love our waffles, fritters, breakfast hash and fancy toasts, sometimes it’s awesome to try something new and different for breakfast. And I have just the thing! Savory Korean Zucchini Pancakes (Hobakjean)!
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Zucchini Pancakes (Hobakjeon) in a white pan on a white surface, surrounded by a bowl of sauce, chopsticks, and blue cloth

When my friend Jean Choi announced she was releasing a cookbook called Korean Paleo: 80 Bold Flavored Gluten-Grain Free Recipes,  I knew right away I would want to share one of her fantastic creations! We LOVE Korean food and know Jean is an expert Korean recipe creator because we follow her blog What Great Grandma Ate.

Zucchini Pancakes (Hobakjeon) #Paleo #whole30 #zucchinipancakes #hobakjeon #whole30breakfast

Traditional Korean Food with a Paleo Twist!

Korean Paleo contains 80 recipes: most are traditional and authentic in flavor. Some are modernized, fusion, or healthified versions of Korean fast foods. You’ll find recipes that are crowd favorites like Bibimbap, Bulgogi, and Kimchi, as well as Korean BBQ items. Each and every recipe is delicious and healthy!

A pan of Zucchini Pancakes (Hobakjeon) with a small bowl of dipping sauce garnished with chives


The Meal: Breakfast, Lunch or Healthy Snack!

Hobakjeon makes a filling, nutritious breakfast and is a great way to fit nutritious veggies into the first meal of the day. This traditional Korean breakfast is very mild meal with no upfront taste of zucchini. It’s simple and easy to make, requires no special tools and is Paleo and Whole30 compliant! This meal can be served alone or with a tasty dipping sauce.

Zucchini Pancakes (Hobakjeon) garnished with green onions

Whole30 Friends, This is Not a ‘Swypo’

In the Whole30 world paleo-fied treats are called “Swypos” (sex with your pants on). Swypos are big a no-no on Whole30. Technically there is no such thing as a Whole30 pancake. But these Korean ‘pancakes’ are nothing like the American idea of a fluffy sugar filled pancake. In fact, other than the shape, they have very little in common. This savory Korean “pancake” only has three ingredients: zucchini, egg and cassava flour. Cassava flour is a healthy resistant starch that comes from a root vegetable. Cassava flour is found at Whole Foods Market, or you can find it online here. 

A hand holding chopsticks, dipping Zucchini Pancakes (Hobakjeon) into sauce


The Recipe: Zucchini Pancakes (Hobakjeon)

What you need: a good non stick pan, a good knife and cassava flour. You can find Korean red pepper flakes here (or use any red pepper flake)

5 from 8 votes
Savory Korean Zucchini Pancakes (Hobakjean)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Paleo/Whole30 Zucchini "Pancakes" make a healthy breakfast!

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: korean
Keyword: korean pancakes, Paleo, whole30, zucchini pancakes
Servings: 2 servings
For pancakes:
  • 2 cups zucchini, julienne cut ( think matchsticks)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup  cassava flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2  Tablespoons  cooking oil (olive oil, avocado oil )or melted ghee
For Dipping sauce (Optional)
  • 2 tablespoons  coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons  apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon  water
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (whole30 omit)
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2  teaspoon  sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon gochugaru (korean red pepper flakes)
For pancakes:
  1. Toss the julienned zucchini with the sea salt in a bowl. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag to squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the zucchini, and reserve and set aside the liquid.

  2. Place the zucchini in a mixing bowl and add the cassava flour, egg and 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of zucchini liquid. Mix together with a fork. If the batter seems too thick, add more zucchini liquid 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If you run out of the liquid, use plain water.

  3. Heat your choice of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Wait 5 minutes until the pan gets very hot. Add the entire batter if you want to make 1 large pancake, or you can add a few tablespoons (30–60 ml) at a time to make several smaller pancakes. Let it cook for 1 minute, and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until browned and crispy on the bottom. Flip and cook the other side for another 2 minutes, adding more oil if needed.

  4. Serve immediately with a side of Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce. You can cut the pancakes in smaller pieces, or rip them apart as you eat.

For dipping sauce:
  1. Whisk together all ingredients and serve.



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