Doofood is a Korean meal kit delivery company making waves in the US.
[This updated article was first published on May 7, 2020]
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.
The following video shows how ingredients are prepared and packaged for shipments.
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.
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!
$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!
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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.