Freshness is the key component of this at-home vegan meal kit

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Freshness is the key component of this at-home vegan meal kit

Home-cooked version of Foovement's new vegan Sichuan-style tteokbokki with black bean sauce. [LEE SUN-MIN]

Home-cooked version of Foovement's new vegan Sichuan-style tteokbokki with black bean sauce. [LEE SUN-MIN]

 
Foovement, a new meal kit company, offers a variety of vegan and special options to make dining at home more interesting.
 
The company that has been offering meal kits in eco-friendly packages since its launch this month introduces vegan Sichuan-style tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) with black jjajang (black bean) sauce, a dish which is unlikely to be found on offer at many restaurant in Seoul.
 
Although made entirely from vegetables, it is almost impossible to tell as the dish lacks nothing in terms of deep flavors. The savory black sauce that covers the chewy tteok, rice cake, makes you continuously reach out for another bite. The texture of the "fish cake" is very bouncy, adding another enjoyable texture. If you are not a big fan of the tongue-numbing Sichuan chili flavors, you can simply exclude the chili oil or just drizzle just a little bit.
 
If you weren’t told, it would be difficult for you to tell this particular dish is vegan. While the red spicy version of tteokbokki is more widely known and available, the jjajang version, whose sauce is usually made with pork, is also welcomed by many foodies. The entire dish seems a bit large for just one person, but not enough to share with another.
 
It felt like a fresher meal as the package is refrigerated, not frozen. The package is usually delivered on the day of your order, or on the date you designate when purchasing.
 
Inside the package is a pack of tteok, a pack of "fish cake", jjajang sauce and Sichuan-style spicy chili oil. The packages aren't labeled, so one may be confused with the black sauce and the chili oil, but just keep in mind that the smaller package is the chili oil, so use with caution.
 
You just need to put everything but the chili oil in a pot and boil for about four minutes until the rice cake gets softer and coated well with the sauce. Cooking is easy, but you might have to stir often to keep the rice cakes from getting stuck to the bottom of the pot.
 
In addition to the taste and simplicity, another added bonus is that all the materials used to carry the ingredients and sauces are all either reusable or decomposable.
 
Foovement's package. [LEE SUN-MIN]

Foovement's package. [LEE SUN-MIN]

 
The plastic is made from 100 percent biodegradable resin, according to the company, and the composting process doesn’t spawn any toxic chemicals. Cooling packs used to keep things fresher during the delivery process are made with only water and starch. Even the container made of wheat straw is branded with the phrase, “For Earth, For Us” to show the company is all about sustainability for the future whilst feeding people something tasty and healthy.
 
To spread the word about the values the company respects, it joins hands with other specialty food packages like broth maker Korean Stock and noodle maker Grand Noodle to introduce its meal kits. It also introduces a plate of dan dan noodles by restaurant Juban to appeal to fans of such dishes.
 
The cost of the vegan tteokbokki is 12,000 won ($10). Four other menu options are also available. The prices of other dishes range from 9,500 won to 15,000 won, and they tend to sell out quickly.
 
Since it is not frozen food, you can get it on the day of your order as long as you purchase before 8 a.m. When you place your order, you can also choose when you want it delivered. Packages are dispatched within 24 hours since they are produced for ultimate freshness.
 
BY LEE SUN-MIN   [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
 

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