Hobak Namul (Korean zucchini squash side dish)

4 to 6 servings

This namul, or vegetable side dish, is a popular accompaniment to many Korean meals. Hobak is a Korean summer squash that is roundish in shape and has light and dark green stripes. It is very similar to zucchini, which can substitute.


  • Hobak or zucchini squash — 3
  • Garlic, minced — 2 to 3 cloves
  • Sugar — 1 teaspoon
  • Salt — to taste
  • Soy sauce — 3 tablespoons
  • Toasted sesame oil — 2 tablespoons


  1. Slice the squash in half lengthwise, then into cut into 1/4-inch think half moons.
  2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high flame. Add the squash, bring back to a boil and let cook for about 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again.
  3. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the squash and toss to coat well with the seasonings.
  4. Serve at room temperature with a selection of Korean side dishes and a main entree.

Hobak Namul Variations

  • Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of Korean red pepper flakes to the seasoning ingredients.
  • Cook 1/4 pound of ground beef or pork in a saute pan, breaking it up into small pieces. Season with salt and pepper and stir in at the end.
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