Recipe: Hobak namul (sautéed summer squash with salted shrimp paste)

Hobak namul is a classic bokkeum (sauté) recipe that will remind most Koreans of their mothers and grandmothers.

Hobak, or Korean summer squash, is used everywhere. It’s one those ingredients that Koreans eat all the time, especially in the summer. You can easily find it in soups, jeon, banchan, and sometimes even in your rice as well. Hobak namul is a great way to add some mild flavors to your selection of banchan, or side dishes. This recipe uses saewoo-jeot, or fermented shrimp paste, to add some depth of flavor—gamchil-mat (often referred to as “umami” in English). Fully-cooked Joseon hobak is amazingly sweet and pairs well with the savory, salty saewoo-jeot.




1 Joseon hobak (original Korean summer squash)

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

1 tbsp saewoo-jeot

1 tsp salt

1 tsp deul-gireum

2~3 pinches ggaesokeum (toasted sesame powder), for garnishing

Hello! I’m saewoo-jeot!




1. Add deulgireum to the pan and set to medium heat. Add garlic and cook until its flavors are infused into the oil (about 1 minute).

2. Add sliced hobak, onion and saewoojeot together. Mix them well. Cover and sauté until the hobak is fully softened.

3. Add more salt to taste.

4. Garnish with ggaesogeum if desired, and serve.

You can store hobak namul in the fridge for up to three days.


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