Join us as we go beyond the label with food brands that we love at Martie. Today, we chat with Kim Pham, co-founder of Omsom. Kim and her sister and co-founder, Vanessa, started Omsom to bring proud, loud Asian flavors to your dinner table any day of the week. Thrillist calls Omsom the "fiery and fun new pantry essential you need to know about." We couldn't agree more.
Grab your Omsom starters from Martie, and read on!
What is your motivation behind Omsom?
Omsom is a proud + loud Asian food brand reclaiming the multitudes in Asian flavors and stories, so often diluted and compromised in the mainstream grocery store. Despite Asian Americans being the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. in population and buying power, the “ethnic” aisle is wrought with products that simplify and dumb down our cuisines.
This underrepresentation + under-serving of this population is what gave us the mission to be unwavering in our centering of the Asian American consumer. This focus in our voice + products allowed us to cut through the noise as a young brand. In the first year, our Asian pantry sauces sold out 11x (the first time within 72 hours) and shipped to 50 states within the first 2 months. We have garnered 50+ dedicated national features in publications like the NY Times, Vogue, and Bon Appetit, and CNN called us “one of the best cooking products” they have ever tested.
What do expiration dates mean to Omsom? Are Omsom starters still good after their “best by” date?
Our products come with at least a 3-month shelf life + we do not recommend consuming our products past their shelf life! We do recommend refrigerating your starters + using them within the next week once opened, as our starters are made to be single-use.
What’s in the pipeline next for Omsom?
Our big picture goal is to eventually end up in grocery stores all over America (and maybe one day, globally!) and redefine the new American pantry. Asian flavors should not be confined to the supermarkets’ “ethnic” aisles, and we’re constantly striving to make that change - not just for us, but for all of the under- and mis-represented communities. Stay tuned and follow our Instagram to see what’s next for us!
By working with Martie, 225 pounds of Omsom have been rescued from going to waste (that's the size of a Giant Panda!) Why is working with Martie and curbing food waste important to Omsom?
At Omsom, we have 3 main values:
Rising Tides Raise All Boats - We believe underrepresented communities can unlock and amplify each other’s mobility and influence.
Lead and Work Wholeheartedly - We hire, collaborate, and make decisions from a place of abundance, making sure to revel in the journey, not the destination.
Build With Intention, Without Concession - We are committed to uncompromised flavors and undiluted stories. As a company, we exist to reclaim, honor, and celebrate POC communities and cuisines.
Curbing food waste and taking care of our planet is integral to even being able to uphold and maintain these values. By minimizing waste and implementing sustainable practices as much as we can, we are honoring our communities, ancestors, and our future generations to come.
Which Omsom starter is your favorite? And what is your favorite recipe?
My favorite starter has to be our Thai Krapow made in collaboration with renowned chef and New York Times best-selling author Pepper Teigen. It’s the first ever product of its kind to include MSG, and we really wanted to rewrite the narrative around this ingredient that has been slandered with bad science and anti-Asian xenophobia. By sparking the discourse around MSG and anti-Asian xenophobia, we ultimately contributed to MSG becoming Whole30 approved + Whole30 explicitly citing Omsom as part of the reason in Dec ‘21! Our krapow is not just a sauce, but Omsom’s act of resistance and rebellion.
As for my favorite recipe, we recently made a fun, damn delicious rendition of crab rangoon using the Krapow starter - hence the name, Krab Rangoon. It’s easy, fool-proof, and a celebration of Asian American/third culture.
Krab Rangoon Recipe
- 1 Omsom Thai Krapow Starter
- 2 scallion, thinly sliced
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 5 oz. imitation/lump crab
- wonton wrappers
- neutral cooking oil
- In a large bowl, mix crab, softened cream cheese, and the Omsom starter.
- Lay out wonton wrapper, add 2 tsp. of filling in the center, connect 2 opposite sides using a dab of water. (Pro Tip: pinch firmly to seal!)
- Dab remaining open corners with water and fold them inwards towards the top, making sure to seal all edges and remove as much air as possible. (This will prevent your rangoons from exploding during the cooking process.)
Let’s get cooking!
On the stovetop:
- Fill a heavy bottom pot with 3 inches of oil and heat to 325° F. To check if the oil is ready, drop a small piece of wonton skin in the pot, if it sizzles then the oil is at temperature.
- Fry rangoons, a couple at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
- Fry for 2 minutes, submerged, and remove from oil with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve once cooled slightly!
In the airfryer:
- Brush each rangoon lightly with neutral cooking oil or spray and air fry at 350° F for 5 minutes.