Seasons: squash hits
The light green summer squash that's often referred to as Korean zucchini is paler, thinner skinned and much more delicate in texture and flavour than its Italian counterpart. It's not easy to find in supermarkets - you'll have to look in shops specialising in Korean products (such as those on Kimberley Street, Tsim Sha Tsui); although sometimes Fresh Mart at Sogo in Causeway Bay sells it. It usually comes in shrink-wrap plastic packaging and is quite expensive (about HK$30 per vegetable). Use it soon after purchase because it spoils quickly, going brown and mushy in spots, although if the rest of the squash is firm, the soft parts can be trimmed off.
The Korean zucchini (which is called hobak) can be used in many ways. It's usually sliced and then salted, to draw out the excess liquid and soften the pieces. Dry the slices with paper towels, then season with sesame oil for a refreshing, simple banchan (side dish). For hobak jeon, dip the salted slices in an egg and flour batter, then pan-fry them and serve with a dipping sauce made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and chilli flakes.