REVIEW: The Blue Apron of Korean Food is Now Shipping Nationwide ($10 off first order)

Doofood is a Korean meal kit delivery company making waves in the US.

[This updated article was first published on May 7, 2020]

Korean meal kit

In these extraordinary pandemic times, with my parents and all of my siblings either working or studying from home, the responsibility of cooking family meals every night has somehow fallen on me. We all love Korean food and having had good experiences with food delivery services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron, I was excited to try my hand at Doofood, an authentic Korean meal kit service with pre-washed and pre-measured ingredients delivered right to you.

On Doofood’s website, you can find a broad selection of exclusively Korean meals to prepare from stews (찌개) to classic entrées (불고기)! The menu changes weekly with a wide variety of options for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.


korean meal kit

The following video shows how ingredients are prepared and packaged for shipments.


Korean meal kit

Once you place an order for a Korean meal kit and receive a shipment, it’s recommended to cook the dish within a few days to ensure freshness. The orders arrive in a well-insulated cardboard box with ice packs separating the meals stacked in individual brown bags. Within each bag, ingredients are labeled by numbers according to the recipe’s directions. Doofood’s packaging is notable from the generous insulation to the specifically labeled ingredients.


Korean meal kit

Recipe instructions are clearly stated with corresponding numbers on the packaged ingredients.


Meal delivery services have transformed the way my friends and I eat these days, and as these services rapidly grow in popularity, I am excited that a Korean meal kit option exists. Over the last month, I’ve ordered and prepared impressive dishes including my favorites Kalbi steak (갈비살스테이크) and seafood scallion pancake (해물파전). Both orders came with banchan sides (반찬) of seasoned seaweed (김무침) and radish kimchi (깍두기). As a Korean American (and a beginner-level chef), I was thrilled to discover Doofood. Not only were these dishes nostalgic and delicious, but they were extremely easy and quick to prepare. I can now confidently prepare a number of delicious Korean meals that would make my grandma (할머니) proud!

Kalbi (갈비살스테이크)
$19 per portion
(2 portions pictured)

Seafood scallion pancakes (해물파전)
$14 per portion
(1 portion pictured)


My overall honest thoughts…

What I like:

  • Simple and delicious recipes. All recipes are less than 4 steps and directions are easy and straightforward. Within each shipment box, all meals are organized by color, and ingredients are labeled numerically according to the recipe’s instructions.
  • Convenience and choice. Prices vary from dish to dish and you can choose which meals you want, the portion sizes, and your delivery day.
  • No subscription needed (ideal for those who are commitment-averse!)
  • Fresh, quality ingredients. Inside the box were generous amounts of ice packs and insulation to ensure the food is kept fresh and contained. All meat, poultry, and fish arrived individually packaged and vacuum-sealed.
  • Balanced nutrition: no MSG, non-GMO, no added hormones, no sub-therapeutic antibiotics. All nutritional information is provided online.
  • No food waste. Ingredients are portioned out exactly.
  • Doofood donates a portion of its gross sales to Feed My Starving Children, a Christian non-profit organization that distributes nutritional packaged food to people in developing nations.

What I do not like:

  • Details of ingredients are lacking. Sauces and coatings were labeled without specific ingredients included. While this allows for an easy-to-follow recipe, it is vague and makes replicating the recipes challenging.
  • Currently only available in the Northeastern area of the US (but working on expanding).
  • Not environmentally friendly. Since each meal is packed individually, I found myself with leftover plastic and containers to recycle or throw away (I realize this limitation applies to every meal delivery service and I hope for sustainable options for food packaging in the near future!).
  • Cost. Most meal kit delivery services tend to be pricey and not for everyday use. Doofood’s prices are similar to restaurant pricing and is (as expected) less cost-efficient than purchasing raw ingredients yourself.

Overall, I am a huge fan of this service and I appreciate how Doofood appeals to Koreans as well as non-Koreans of all ages. Doofood has familiarized me with Korean ingredients and I hope that by sharing this review, it will encourage others to try Korean cooking and find new ways to appreciate Korean culture. This service is a giant leap in making Korean cuisine mainstream and easily accessible to the general population. I look forward to seeing Doofood’s plans for expansion in the coming years!

BoK Exclusive! Please sign up below to receive your code for $10 off your first order.

xo, J (송경애)



Founded in 2016, Doofood is a Korean meal preparation delivery service. For more information please visit the DooFood website.


Julianna Song is a content creator and contributing writer for Best of Korea. She discovered her passion for Korean culture during a recent immersion program in Korea and hopes to return one day to work in the film and television industry.

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15 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Blue Apron of Korean Food is Now Shipping Nationwide ($10 off first order)

  • December 5, 2020 at 2:05 pm
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    Super-yummy.Have now made many meals from them. Appreciate that they give the spiciness levels & separate the chiles, as we love the hot stuff but not all of our friends do. We’re in a coastal/rural part of New England and were amazed they shipped here. My partner spent a lot of time in Korea on business and I’m from the Bay Area, so we’re spoilt on having varieties of Asian food. I feel guilty for loving that every ingredient is already prepped, but after a long day at work it really makes a difference. The “order only when you feel like it” thing is great for people who are away a lot, and the price compares favorably to Korean restaurants. Especially since we’d have to drive 90 minutes to go to an actual Korean restaurant or store. We used to seek out Korean groceries every time we road-tripped, but now road trips are obviously a bad idea.Only things I’d change would be (1) to add more banchan options (only because we’re lazy) and (2) less plastic packaging.

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  • May 7, 2020 at 11:21 pm
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    Very informative! Looking forward to trying Doofood soon

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  • May 7, 2020 at 10:05 pm
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    Thanks for the information!!
    My family will definitely try this out!

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  • May 7, 2020 at 10:04 pm
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    Terrific post Julia and thanks so much for securing $30 off!

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    • June 12, 2020 at 2:14 am
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      Thank you for such a detailed review! I love Korean food and can’t wait to try out this meal prep service.?

      Reply
  • May 7, 2020 at 10:03 pm
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    get that grub, looks good julia! I miss scallion pancakes so much omg ?

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  • May 7, 2020 at 9:48 pm
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    Great information!
    Best way to get to Korean cooking as a beginner.
    Thank you!

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  • May 7, 2020 at 9:42 pm
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    Thank you Julia for supporting small businesses! We are excited to try this service as you’ve attested to how good the food were. This is a great business idea and an awesome service for busy moms like me who don’t live close to a local Korean grocery store.

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  • May 7, 2020 at 9:41 pm
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    Wow had no idea this was a thing!! Love that meal prep service options are expanding. Thanks for the detailed/honest review 🙂

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  • May 7, 2020 at 8:29 pm
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    thank you for the $30 discount!! I’ve been wanting to try this.

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  • May 7, 2020 at 8:01 pm
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    this article really made me miss all of the Korean food that I was having prior to quarantine but thank god for this service!

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    • May 13, 2020 at 11:14 am
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      Such a great article! Huge thanks to the author

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  • May 7, 2020 at 7:38 pm
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    WOW!! had no idea this existed and I will definitely use this since I crave Korean food on an hourly basis

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  • May 7, 2020 at 7:23 pm
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    Thank you, I’ll try it out for sure!

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  • May 7, 2020 at 7:04 pm
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    Had no idea this existed- I’m ordering this as a surprise for my girlfriend right now 🙂

    Reply

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