Hard to say when I first heard about Omsom. Was it on Instagram? Buzz in the female-founded food space? When my mom came storming into my kitchen waving a copy of Food & Wine asking if I’d heard about “these great girls and their company!” (It wasn’t then, at that point I was fully obsessed with their Larb starter sauce and handed her a box of their Southeast Asian Omsom Sampler.)
Omsom is now one of my favorite food brands, co-founded by sisters Kim and Vanessa Pham, the daughters of Vietnamese immigrants who wanted to bring “Loud & Proud” Asian flavors to home cooks everywhere. Their outrageously delicious starter packets of sauce – whether it’s sweet Lemongrass BBQ or fiery Thai Larb — pack an incredible amount of undiluted flavor. Add your protein, and an onion, and in 30 minutes you’re inhaling a restaurant-quality dish.
Through their quest to reclaim Asian flavors and culture, the Pham sisters have built a vibrant community. They speak directly to a young Asian American audience, and by being true to themselves, and the food, their message resonates with a much wider audience.
Sometimes my husband and I talk about moving back to a small New Hampshire town, like the ones we grew up in.
You know what shuts these conversations right down? Cold noodles. Sichuan Dumplings. Thai Larb. Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwiches.
I’m not joking. Oversimplifying yes – there’s a lot to love about the city living, but introduction to the incredibly delicious, diverse and mutlifaceted cuisines of Asia — and my Asian American neighbors who make it — has been one of the greatest joys of living in Boston.
It’s comforting to know that if the pull of affordable housing and unironic-Carhartt wearing becomes too strong to resist, Omsom ships to New Hampshire.
I highly recommend checking out the Omsom starter sets, but I also, asked Vanessa to share her some of her other go-tos in the pantry, because if you know anything about not just co., we think arming yourself with high-quality kitchen backup is the key to getting dinner done. Here are a few of her faves…
What else is in Vanessa's Pantry
5. Fried Shallots
“From my favorite Chinatown grocers, I love topping soups and salads with them for a aromatic crunch.”