Platter of nine Korean delicacies, 'Gu Jeol Pan' (구절판), is a Korean royal cuisine that has eight delicately seasoned vegetables, meat, and thin crepe wrappers. This elegantly presented Korean dish is a naturally low carb, healthy meal that will make anyone feel like a royalty!
I've partnered with Calphalon to introduce their Contemporary SharpIN knives - shelf-sharpening knives for this post. I received a set to test the knives for making this fun recipe since it involved dicing, chopping, slicing, and mincing for making deliciously seasoned vegetables.
We eat Korean food almost daily. Since it's summer, we've been grilling galbi weekly, enjoying the last of the kimchi that we made last fall, making stuffed cucumber kimchi with cucumbers from the garden, and making Korean Vegetable Pancakes with peppers and other vegetables from the summer harvest as well. The abundance of garden vegetables made me think of making this special dish that is pretty to serve and delicious to eat called, Gu Jeol Pan (구절판).
What is Gu Jeol Pan (구절판)?
Gu Jeol Pan is an octagonal platter with nine small compartments that hold specially selected delicate dishes for the royal court from Joseon dynasty. Gu means "nine" (구), Joel means "section" (절), and pan means "plate" (판). The platter is usually made with wood, finished with lacquer and ornately designed with symbolic writings or patterns. I've seen fancier versions of inlaid mother of pearl designs of symbolic scenes or objects as well.
I received this wooden platter as a gift, and in fear of damaging it, I rarely use it. But you don't need a fancy Gu Jeol Pan for this dish. You can definitely serve these delicacies on a large serving platter.
What is in the Gu Jeol Pan (구절판)?
Don't let the 'nine' dishes intimidate you. They are minimally seasoned with common Korean seasonings. For this recipe, I used the following dishes, but I list alternatives later on in the post for more ideas. But you can choose any vegetables you'd like for your family.
Beef - place the thinly sliced meat (rib-eye steak or flank steak) in a small mixing bowl and mix the seasonings in and set aside to sauté.
Dried sliced Shiitake mushrooms - dried shiitake mushrooms have more umami than fresh ones. You'll have to rehydrate them though so soak the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl with cold water for an hour or longer until they are soft. When they are soft, rinse them in clean water, and squeeze the water out. If you're using whole shiitake mushrooms, you'll need to soak them longer and slice. If you don't have dried shiitake, you can use fresh mushroom, in which case, you don't have to soak them. Mix the seasonings in and set aside to sauté.
Red bell pepper - cut both top and bottom ends off, and julienne into thin slices. Season them and set aside to sauté.
Carrots - cut the carrots in 2-3 inches long in length and julienne thinly and set aside to sauté.
Spinach - cut the spinach in 2 inches in length. Blanch in hot boiling water for 5 seconds. Strain them and place them in ice-cold water. Mix the seasonings in and set aside.
Mung Bean Sprouts - blanch in hot boiling water for 5 seconds. Put them in ice-cold water and strain to cool. Place the sprouts in your hands, and squeeze out the water. Mix the seasonings in and set aside.
Cucumbers - cut them in 2" match sticks. You don't need to season cucumbers, but they add a little bit of a crunchy texture.
Enoki mushrooms - wash the mushrooms and cut the bottom ends off. Pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Heat the skillet, and add 1 teaspoon avocado oil. Add the enoki mushrooms, minced garlic, salt, fresh black pepper and sauté until mushrooms are a little soft.
Wrapper - Korean radish - instead of the traditional crepe made with wheat flour, we love using Korean radish, mu. It's low carb and Paleo friendly. Thinly slicing the radish with a knife might be a bit challenging so use a mandolin to slice across the radish in thin slices. If there's a Korean grocery store near you, you can buy packaged pre-sliced radish slices.
Alternative Foods for Gu Jeol Pan
You can use any types of food to fill the nine compartments. Here are some of my favorites.
- Broccoli - blanch the florets and season them like the spinach above.
- Asparagus - steam the ends and season like the spinach or sauté like the carrots above.
- Watercress - we love the little kick watercress has for this dish. Blanch first and season it like the spinach above.
- Zucchini - cut them into matchsticks, sauté with pinch of salt and fresh black pepper.
- Meat variety - you can use any meat you like. Chicken or pork or even shrimp works well as a meat choice. Or you can skip meat altogether and make it all vegetarian. You're the boss!
Sharp knives - you'll slice, dice, chop, julienne and mince a lot for cooking Korean dishes. I learned my knife skills chopping scallions, onions, and garlic since we can't cook Korean food without those 3 ingredients. And I also learned how important it is to have sharp knives for cooking. But I always forget to sharpen them before I start cooking since I'm always rushing to start. And then, I realize, I need to stop cooking and sharpen them.
It's the most annoying thing, and I still don't learn my lesson to sharpen them before I start to cook.
So when Calphalon sent me this Contemporary SharpIN 20-Pc. Cutlery Set, I fell in love. It's a genius idea, don't you think?
I tell ya; these are a game-changer in the kitchen. So now, I don't even have to remember to sharpen since they sharpen themselves when I take out the knives!
It's a wonderful thing. Trust me.
Gu Jeol Pan or a large serving platter - if you don't have Gu Jeol Pan, you can use a large party platter to fit nine dishes. But if you really want to purchase the authentic Korean Gu Jeol Pan, unfortunately, you'd have to find someone who can buy it from Korea because I haven't found an online site that sells them. You could search on eBay for an used one but you know how eBay is. I don't know if I'd trust any seller on eBay but you be the judge.
Platter of Nine Korean Delicacies - Gu Jeol Pan (구절판)
Nine Korean Delicacies Platter (Gu Jeol Pan)
- Gu jeol Pan or Serving Platter
- ½ lb Korean radish sliced thin to yield 20 slices
- 1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 c cold water
- 3 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms slices soaked
- 4 oz lean beef rib eye or flank steak, sliced thinly
- 1 c blanched baby spinach
- 1 c blanched mung bean sprouts
- ½ medium red bell pepper julienned
- 1 medium carrot cut in match sticks
- 1 medium kirby cucumber cut in matchsticks
- ½ c enoki mushrooms separated, and cut in 2-2½ inch long
- 2 teaspoon Tamari
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil divided
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions divided, and more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic divided
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh black pepper divided
- 1 tablespoon sea salt divided
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil divided as needed as you sauté meat and vegetables below
- 1 tablespoon gochujang
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Korean mirin
- 1 tbsp finely chopped scallions
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1 tsp rice syrup or honey
- Slice the Korean radish thinly, using a sharp knife or a mandolin. Mix the cane sugar, vinegar, pinch of salt, and water in a small bowl. Place the radish slices in the vinegar mixture and refrigerate until use.
- Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in cold water for an hour or longer until they soften. When they are soft, squeeze the water out. Add the mushrooms to a small mixing bowl and mix in 1 teaspoon tamari, ½ teaspoon garlic, ¼ teaspoon sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon sesame seeds, pinches of salt and fresh black pepper and set aside.
- Season the meat with 1 teaspoon tamari, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon scallions, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon sesame seeds, and pinch of fresh black pepper and set aside.
- Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small pot. Blanch the spinach for 5 seconds or until the spinach is soft and turns deep green color. Strain the spinach and place them in icy cold water. Take out the spinach and squeeze out the water. Season the spinach with ¼ teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon scallions, pinches of salt and fresh black pepper and set aside.
- Cook the Mung Bean Sprouts similarly by blanching in boiling water for 5 seconds or until mung bean sprouts are soft. Season the blanched sprouts with ¼ teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon scallions, ½ garlic, pinches of salt and fresh black pepper and set aside.
- Cut the red bell pepper, cucumbers and carrots in match-sticks shapes with a sharp knife.
- Wash the enoki mushrooms and cut (the bottom ends that are connected together) into 2-2½ inch pieces.
- Heat the pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil and quickly sauté shiitake mushrooms for 1 minute. Set aside when they are seasoned and softer.
- Add more avocado oil to the pan and sauté red bell pepper with remaining garlic, pinches of salt and fresh black pepper. When the peppers a little soft, set aside. Then, sauté carrots with pinches of salt and fresh black pepper. Sauté the meat last for 1 or 2 minutes until the meat is done to your likeness. Set aside the cooked dishes for plating in the Gu Jeol Pan or a serving platter.
- Place the each of the ingredients in the 8 compartments of the Gu Jeol Pan and the radish slices in the middle compartment.
- Alternatively, place the ingredients on a large serving platter.
- Place the ingredients of your choice on the radish slice, top with the sauce and wrap to eat.
- Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Serve with Gu Jeol Pan for dipping the wrapped delicacies