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Supporting BIPOC communities shouldn’t be limited to times of crisis or designated “history” months. One way you can support communities of color now, tomorrow and every day is by buying from BIPOC-owned brands.
But with the current rise in anti-Asian violence and hate crimes in the U.S., it’s especially time to turn attention to Asian American-owned brands and the entrepreneurs behind them. In wake of current events, Omsom — an Asian-owned brand that makes Asian meal starter kits — spoke out on its Instagram with a question to its followers: “Do you ride for our communities as hard as you ride for our food?”
So, if you like ordering Drunken Noodles, wontons and sushi from Asian-owned restaurants, keep ordering. But you can (and should) support these Asian-owned food brands when cooking at home — all while doing anti-racist work in your daily life.
Omsom makes it easy to create restaurant-quality meals at home in under 30 minutes with its Asian dish starters. Think of the starters like a shortcut: They combine all the sauces, aromatics and seasonings you need to make a specific Asian dish, recipe provided. Just add your choice of protein and veggies. The Best Seller Set includes starters to make Vietnamese Lemongrass BBQ, Thai Larb and Japanese Yuzu Misoyaki.
Sisters and co-founders of Omsom, Vanessa and Kim Pham, are the daughters of Vietnamese refugees. The sisters grew up watching their mother cook everything from scratch.
“We started Omsom to bring proud, loud Asian flavors to your fingertips any day of the week, sitting in your pantry right between the tomato sauce and olive oil. No more diluted dishes, no more cultural compromise. Real deal Asian cuisine and communities are too damn delicious to deny,” their brand’s website says.
Fly by Jing makes some of the most incredible sauces inspired by the founder and CEO Jing Gao’s hometown of Chengdu, China. According to its site, “fly” refers to the hole-in-the-wall restaurants that “attract diners like flies.” And these sauces — once you try one, you’ll be swarming the site for more too.
It’s signature sauce is its Sichuan Chili Sauce. “Intensely flavorful yet not off-the-charts spicy, it’ll make your food taste bolder and the world around you seem a little bit brighter. Use it on everything,” the product description says.
Although, if you run out of ideas of what to put the sauce on, Fly by Jing provides recipes on its site as well.
Dang Foods makes snacks like Thai rice crisps, coconut chips and keto-friendly nut bars. The brand was founded by Vincent Kitirattragarn, who was inspired by his mother’s cooking.
“As brothers living between NYC and Bangkok, we grew up eating differently. We created Dang — แดง, named after our Mom — to share uniquely Asian American snacks with the flavors and ingredients we love,” he wrote on the brand’s site. And today, Dang Foods is on a mission to share its culture through food.
The coconut is ethically sourced from family farms in Thailand, and it’s seriously good stuff.
Provenance Meals is a meal delivery company that makes healthy prepared meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of the meals are organic, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. To ensure the absolute freshness, the main service is currently only available in the greater New York City area and some parts of Connecticut.
However, Provenance Meals launched the Feel Good Fix in August 2020, and this portion of the service ships nationwide. The three-day, plant-based program eliminates inflammatory triggers including dairy, refined sugar, gluten, GMOs, soy, corn and refined vegetable oils. The meals, created by chefs and nutrition experts, come pre-prepared. The goal, according to Provenance Meals founder Caroll Lee, is to “reboot” your body by removing toxins causing gut inflammation. (Check out In The Know’s review!)
Provenance Meals also makes snacks and drinks in its online Wellness Shop that ship nationwide, too.
Emshika Alberini owns Chang Thai Cafe in Littletown, New Hampshire. She created her namesake beverage brand with traditional recipes from her family, and it ships nationwide. Emshika makes canned Thai iced tea and Thai coffee — and once you try it, you may never go back to plain black coffee ever again.
Both the tea and coffee are nitro-infused, dairy-free and have zero sugar added. The sweetness comes from a hint of natural monk fruit sweetener. Get a sampler pack to try them all!
Bokksu is a premium subscription service that works with local Japanese businesses to deliver a new box of snacks each month. Snacks are both savory and sweet, and include Kit Kats with unique flavors, mochi, tea, rice crackers and more. You can purchase a box for one month, three months or 12 months, or you can purchase snacks individually.
Founder Danny Taing launched Bokksu after living and working in Japan for many years. When he returned to the U.S., he wanted a way to get all of his favorite authentic Japanese snacks.
“We are totally in love with authentic Japanese snacks, which is why we handpick snacks that people in Japan actually eat and curate them into beautiful themed boxes every month,” the brand’s website reads. “We are also the only Japanese subscription box that includes a tea pairing specifically selected to complement that month’s delicacies, as well as a Culture Guide magazine that describes the story and flavors of each item in the box.”
If you found this article helpful, check out these 18 Asian-founded brands to support today, tomorrow and forever.
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