You might not say, ‘I love you,’ but you’ll put a piece of fruit [out] to apologize,” says Kim. “We’ve found it to be an important language, in a way, for us to reclaim what it means to share Asian culture in a way that’s undiluted,” Vanessa adds. For the Duct tape can_t fix stupid but it can help muffle the sound shirt and I love this inaugural launch, Omsom partnered with four chefs who head three of NYC’s trendiest restaurants, each redefining Vietnamese, Thai, and Filipino cuisine through a modern lens. Vanessa and Kim tapped Jimmy Ly of Madame Vo (also a favorite of SJP’s), Nicole Ponseca of Jeepney and Chat and Ohm Suansilphong from the popular Thai spot, Fish Cheeks. One Omsom sampler pack ($29), includes six sauce packets created by each chef that cover three signature Asian dishes: Vietnamese lemongrass barbecue, Filipino Sisig, and Thai Larb, with easy instruction cards included for each. For me, Omsom completely transformed my home cooking. Not only did it bring back my favorite Vietnamese dish into my home, but it also brought joy to my quarantine nights. One of the small pleasures during this time has been being able to share my Omsom dinner concoctions with my mom, who was, needless to say, impressed! The beauty in Omsom not only lies in its aromatic flavors packed inside easy-to-use kits, but the fact that customization is encouraged. Many Omsom consumers have mixed and matched different proteins and vegetables for the traditionally pork-focused Vietnamese lemongrass dish, or used tofu instead of spicy Thai larb. The difference between traditional meal kits and Omsom is that Kim and Vanessa are not looking to change or shift behaviors, but rather, to bring restaurant-quality ingredients and flavors to pantries through delightful and easy at-home cooking. Launching during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge at first for the Pham sisters, but they quickly noticed that “folks were reconnecting, and trying to find a sense of comfort, and a sense of nourishment and self-care through cooking and food.” Even more so, Omsom launched during a period when Asian-American representation in mainstream media has been gaining momentum, Parasite won its historic “Best Picture” Oscar, Crazy Rich Asians had unparalleled box-office success as an all-Asian cast, and even more importantly, a time when amplifying diverse voices in all industries from fashion to beauty, food to film has been more critical than before. “
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There’s starting to be this moment in time where the Duct tape can_t fix stupid but it can help muffle the sound shirt and I love this rest of the world is finally catching up and realizing that Asian-Americans are an audience that should be actively served and not overlooked. That we not only have buying power, but we have an influence on culture and how other people spend their dollars,” says Vanessa. “It is exactly why we built this brand. This audience deserves an intentional brand that’s going to do our damn best to do right by them. And so, that’s where we’re coming from.” This fall, Omsom is planning to expand its offerings into the East Asian food market, with a roll-out of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese-focused starter kits. Since launching, Omsom has sold out twice, the first within 72 hours and again in June. Omsom just restocked their popular sampler pack on Monday. Hint: shop it below before it sells out again. This recipe is inspired by courgettes avec des arachides (French for ‘zucchini with peanuts’), a classic dish from the north-central African country Chad,” says chef Bryant Terry of his oven-roasted zucchini recipe, a simple dish dressed up with the addition of collard-peanut pesto. Perfect to bring to any socially-distanced barbecues this summer, it’s just one of many innovative vegan offerings found in Terry’s new cookbook, Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes. Over the past few years, veganism has moved from a lifestyle choice firmly into the mainstream: in 2019, The Economist reported a quarter of 25 to 34-year-olds were either vegan or vegetarian. Disney World has over 400 plant-based menu options, and Burger King now serves the Impossible Whopper. Vegetable Kingdom, with its recipes heralding everything from peas to summer squashes to spinach, further cements the role of vegetables no longer as just the side dish, but as the main affair, too. Yet, Vegetable Kingdom also champions a rich variety of global cuisines: Terry, the chef-in-residence at San Francisco’s MoAD, emphasizes ingredients and cooking styles of the African diaspora, whereas his wife, Jidian Terry Koon, does so with a variety of Asian flavors, from Chinese to Vietnamese. Kingdom reflects those culinary cultures, and many more—Terry notes that fennel, a hearty Mediterranean vegetable, sparked the inspiration for this book. Make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the collards, peanuts, miso, and garlic and blend until it forms a chunky paste. While the food processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil through the feed tube, adding more if needed to reach your desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste. Set aside.