Today let’s learn about another Korean side dish that you can make so easily, using zucchini and shrimp. It’s sautéed zucchini and shrimp (Aehobak-saeu-bokkeum: 애호박새우볶음). Green, semi-translucent zucchini becomes a little savory when it’s cooked with shrimp, and then fermented shrimp sauce enhances the flavor even more. The colors are beautiful and the contrast stimulates our appetite. It looks fancy but for Koreans, this is an everyday side dish!
You don’t need special shrimp to make this, any shrimp will do. And I know not many people keep their kitchen stocked with fermented shrimp sauce, so if you don’t have it, you can use fish sauce.
The key to making beautiful, juicy Aehobak-saeu-bokkeum is to make sure you don’t remove too much of the water from the zucchini, so be careful not to squeeze the water all out.
If you love zucchini or you love shrimp, you’ll really enjoy this recipe. I make it as a side dish for rice, or make bibimbap with it (like I do in the video) because it goes well with rice, gochujang and kongnamul-muchim. Enjoy it either way!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1 pound zucchini, cut into ¼ inch thick bite size pieces
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 ounces sliced onion (about ¾ cup)
- 8 ounces large heads-off shrimp (or frozen and thawed), shelled, deveined, washed
- 1 tablespoon salted fermented shrimp (or fish sauce), minced
- 1 red chili pepper, stemmed and sliced diagonally
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Combine the zucchini and salt in a bowl. Mix it well and let it sit for 10 minutes. Drain.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil, garlic, and stir for 20 seconds.
- Stir in the zucchini and onion for about 10 seconds. Push the zucchini and onion to the edges and empty out the center of the skillet.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the shrimp side by side to the empty spot in the middle of the skillet. Let them cook for 1 minute, until the bottom of the shrimp turns a little pink.
- Turn them over and stir everything together for a minute.
- Add shrimp sauce (or fish sauce) and cook 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the shrimp is cooked and the zucchini is semi-translucent.
- Add red chili pepper and green onion and stir another minute.
- Remove from the heat and stir in sesame oil.
- Transfer to a bowl or plate and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over top. Serve right away with rice. You can refrigerate the leftovers for up to 3 days.