For the next few weeks I'll be sharing with you some delicious Korean dishes inspired by my trip to South Korea! Being Korean American myself, it's exciting to share my take on recipes that I grew up eating, as well as explore new Korean dishes. The gujeolpan is the latter, and my it's a yummy discovery!
The gujeolpan is a traditional Korean dish from the Joseon Dynasty, and was meant for the kings and royalty. Translated as "Platter of Nine Delicacies," the name of the dish actually refers to the physical tray that has nine different compartments. As such, there are nine main components to the gujeolpan. Jeon, or flour pancake wraps are placed in the center, and a variety of eight meats and vegetables surround it to resemble a flower. As beautiful as its presentation, the dish required considerable preparation, and was therefore reserved for special occasions.
I've always loved the vibrant colors of Korean cuisine that really showcases an array of ingredients, such as the bibimbap ("mixed rice"), or the gimbap (seaweed roll). The traditional gujeolpan is no exception. Once all nine ingredients are meticulously prepared and delicately placed, the resulting rainbow of color is truly a feast for the eyes and taste buds.
In this vegetarian version, I've swapped out the meat for veggie meat, and also experimented with varying colors for the flour pancake wrap. It was not only my first time making the dish but also my first time trying it, and needless to say I can see why it was a dish for the kings!
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Medium
PREP TIME: 1 Hour
COOK TIME: 1 Hour
- 6 Inch piece of Carrot
- 6 Inch piece of Cucumber
- 6 Inch piece of Zucchini
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (Or 4-5 Mini bell peppers)
- 1/2 Cup of Enoki Mushrooms (traditionally Shitake Mushrooms)
- 1/2 Packet of Tofurkey Deli Slices (or 3-4 Ounces of Veggie Meat of your choice)
- 1 Cup Bean Sprouts
- 2 Eggs
- Salt to season
"JEON" (FLOUR PANCAKE WRAP) INGREDIENTS:
- 3 Cups Flour
- 1/2 Tbsp Gochujang Paste
- 1/4 Cup Spinach Juice
- Pinch of salt
- Red chili pepper slices for decoration (optional)
"KYUJA" (SPICY MUSTARD SAUCE) INGREDIENTS:
- 1 Tbsp Hot Mustard Paste (Kyuja Paste)
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp Honey
- Start by prepping the ingredients that don't need additional cooking. These include the bell pepper, cucumber, and veggie meat. Cut the ingredients as thinly as you can into 3-inch long pieces. Set aside to plate.
- Slice the zucchini and carrots as thinly as possible into 3-inch long pieces, then cut the enoki mushrooms as is into 3-inch long pieces. Sautee each ingredient separately in an oiled frying pan at medium heat. Set aside to plate.
- Pluck the roots off the bean sprouts and then blanch quickly in boiling water. Set the sprouts aside to plate.
- Whisk two eggs in a bowl, then pour into an oiled frying pan at medium-low heat. Create a thin, pancake-like shape with the mixture. Flip to cook both sides, and then place on a cutting board to cool down. Once it has cooled down, roll the circular shape into a log, and then cut into thin slices, around 3 inches long. Set aside to plate.
- For the flour pancake wraps, prepare three separate mixing bowls. (You can always opt for making just one of the colors, in which case you would use three cups of flour for that one color)
- White Flour Wraps: Mix 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, and a pinch of salt
- Green Spinach Wraps: Mix 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup of spinach juice, and a pinch of salt
- Red Gochujang Wraps: Mix 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, 1/2 Tbsp gochujang paste, and a pinch of salt
- Optional: Slice the red chili peppers in cross-sections to create small circles. These will be used as decoration for the pancake wraps.
- To fry the pancake wraps, prepare a frying pan at medium heat with some cooking oil. Then take a ladle and pour the mixtures to create 3-inch diameter pancake shapes. On one side only, place a couple of the red chili pepper slices as decoration in the middle. Then once one side has cooked, flip the pancake over to cook the other side. This usually takes about 1 minute per side.
- For the dipping sauce, mix the mustard paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and honey. If the hot mustard is too spicy, I suggest using less mustard and adding more soy sauce and honey.
- Place the wraps in the center of your Gujeolpan plate or regular plate if you don't have one. Then place the other ingredients neatly all around. Try to vary the colors so that no two colors are next to each other.
- To create the wraps, take a flour pancake wrap, place the thinly sliced ingredients inside, wrap, and then dip into the spicy mustard sauce. Enjoy!
- This is a vegetarian take on the traditional Gujeolpan. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your needs. You can always add real meat (traditionally marinated, thin beef slices), or even opt for a vegan version with no eggs or meat.
Styling & Photography: Annie Cho