Plated Review: Crispy Lemongrass Pork and Long Life Noodles

Plated, the food delivery subscription box, recently had a promotion and I was able to get six plates for the price of two. It was a great opportunity to try something new. I love cooking and trying new things, but I am the worst at grocery shopping and not super excellent at planning meals in advance. Plated sends you the exact right amount of everything and offers curated menus of dishes a little bit fancier than I’d usually think to try. As always, no one sends me free stuff, so I paid for this with my own money. The rest of the week, I’ll recap the recipes that I made from the subscription and let you know what I think.

Most recipes cost $12 a “plate” (serving) so it can get a little pricey. It’s definitely good as a treat, or I could see getting a large order if I was planning to entertain and wanted to try something different.

Let’s talk about the bad though, because the bad parts of this experience were very bad.

I had delivery set for Friday, which means we planned to make some delicious food on Friday 3/27. I got the shipping notification, the tracking number, everything. Nothing arrived on Friday. On Saturday we checked the mail around 4pm and there was nothing. I looked up the tracking number and saw that my box was labeled “out for delivery.” I sent LaserShip (the company used in my neck of the woods) an email request for more information, to which I still have received no reply. I then headed over to their FAQ page and found that they will sometimes deliver as late as 8pm, and in certain areas on Sundays. I called the number and the number provided is “not in service,” leaving me to bank on the email reply. I checked for the package again at 9pm and nothing was there. Sunday around 3pm I went down to check. The box was finally there! It was also open. This is absurd. It looked like it was only taped half way to begin with, as there were no cuts in the tape and tears in the cardboard, but I am unsure if it shipped like that or if a neighbor took the item off the porch, opened it, and then realized it wasn’t theirs. That’s why it would still be extra nice to hear back from LaserShip, to know what day my item was actually delivered. I discussed these concerns in my feedback to Plated. As it stands right now, I would not recommend Plated to anyone in an area that would have LaserShip as their delivery service.

My other gripe is with the subscription service- supposedly you can skip weeks, which is great because sometimes you go on vacation and with a box of fresh food you really want to be there to get it. We will not be home at all over Easter weekend, so I wanted to skip Friday’s delivery while I considered if I wanted another shipment (they had some great looking options) after clicking everywhere under all the available account tabs, I couldn’t figure out how to skip the 4/3 delivery… so I just canceled the subscription altogether.

What’s excellent about Plated is the food. Despite being delayed and opened, everything in the box was still fresh- and it was properly packed, the meat was placed BELOW the fresh vegetable ingredients so they would have been ok even if there had been a leak (there wasn’t). I had wanted to do a full unboxing, but was just incredibly anxious to get all my things into the fridge after the delayed arrival.

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We did the Crispy Lemongrass Pork with Long Life Noodles for our first dish, as it was the quickest and had meat (we want to use that up first, given the delay). The recipe cards plated provides are large and beautiful.

Pictured against a 15" computer screen

Pictured against a 15″ computer screen

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There are step-by-step instructions, as well as an ingredient list so you can recreate the recipe. Plated comes with the exact right amount of just about everything (except water, salt, and pepper). I almost wish there were a way to select items you already have in your pantry so those can be used up- the soy sauce packets weren’t any huge inconvenience but I have a ton of soy sauce already! Still it’s really handy, especially in dishes like this, to not end up with a lot of leftover “orphan” ingredients that you buy for one recipe and then don’t know what to do with- like lemongrass.

Lemongrass and Garlic

Lemongrass and Garlic

I was most impressed with the noodles- they weren’t the strange, wet packaged in water noodles I’ve had from some places, nor were they dried. They were fresh, lightly floured noodles, like they had just come off a pasta machine.

It the broth with the Chinese broccoli

It the broth with the Chinese broccoli

This meal was finished in less than half an hour! It could take less time if you DON’T turn the wrong burner on and melt half of your plastic cutting board to a glass lid, and if you have a nonstick pan that won’t try to claim the pork for its own.

Here’s the finished product:

Served in my Asian-esque Corningware bowls.

Served in my Asian-esque Corningware bowls.

We saved the garnish lime for my parents- they’ll use it to make capirinhas.

When/(if) you’re signing up for Plated you’ll have the opportunity to list any food dislikes/allergies/religious avoidances. They don’t allow you to get terribly specific. I had to blacklist all nuts just to avoid walnuts, but whatever.

I’m really torn between recommending this and not. I loved the food, it was a great way to try cooking something new. I enjoyed actually making the food! But I’m so disgusted about receiving an open box two days late. If it is something you want to try, and think the shipping in your area might be better, you can use my Referral Link. If they still have the promotion going

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