Korea makes it easy to eat out. You can find great food for reasonable prices, and oftentimes supermarket produce prices will bump your meal cost over what you’d pay at a restaurant — especially if you hunger for Western fare. That said, sometimes, it’s just nice to have a home-cooked meal. I happen to love cooking from scratch, so I do it almost every night. But there are nights where I wish that I could have all of the prep work (measuring, chopping, dicing, etc.) taken care of. Meal-kit delivery services are the perfect solution. They’re fairly common in the US, but the concept is a fresh one to Korea. So, when my friend told me about a meal-delivery service he’d recently tested, I thought I’d try to find one in Korea. Enter Mogo, Korea’s first healthy meal-kit delivery service.
There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” – George Bernard Shaw
Mogo was launched in October 2016 by Korean-American Joseph Hill and his team. He got his inspiration from a desire to reconnect people with the food they eat, as well as creating a healthy product which people could fit into their busy lives. According to the site, Mogo’s mission is to adhere to the following descriptors: healthy, inexpensive, variety, and convenience. Healthy in that the food is vegetarian-friendly and never has any artificial flavors, colors, chemicals or preservatives. Inexpensive in that a 2-3 serving meal currently costs between 6,500 and 10,500원. Variety in that both Korean and Western options are available, and menu items change over time. Convenient in that meals are storable for long periods of time — for the busy among us.
There are a few perks worth knowing about for those interested in the service. Purchasing three or more orders will reward you with free shipping, and new members review a coupon for one free meal kit (as of March 2017). And YES, the promotions can be used simultaneously. I ordered the Cranberry Pumpkin Risotto, Korean Bulgogi, and Korean Pancakes (along with a 4-alarm spice mix), and it only set me back 16,000원. That’s less than $15 USD! Keep in mind that each meal makes 2-3 servings.
Cranberry Pumpkin Risotto
The cranberry pumpkin risotto was delicious and super easy to make. I was expecting something relatively easy to cook, but the recipe had only eight easy to follow steps. Ingredients were well-labeled and cooking contingencies were covered (you may or may not need to add additional water depending on the temperature you cook at, etc.). The risotto turned out to be a well-balanced dish. It was a little pumpkiny, with some crunch from the walnuts, great flavor notes from the cranberries, and some zing from the pepper.
Ordering is easy, with several extras you can add to your order to get the perfect meal. Mogo also provides users with different payment options including Korean issued cards, PayPal, or Korean bank transfer. Shipping is quick — I received my meals on the second business day after ordering.
So, the million dollar question: Would I recommend Mogo to another person living in South Korea?
The answer is YES.
Ever tried Mogo, or another meal-kit service? What was your experience? Would you recommend that service to others! Share your thoughts in the comments below!