Food & Drink

50 Asian American and Pacific Islander-Owned Home & Grocery Brands We Love

Products You May Like

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Since the start of the pandemic, violence against Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) has increased by almost 150 percent. And with the shootings in March in Atlanta — which left eight people dead, six who were Asian American — there has been a strong call to action across social media to support the AAPI community through donations, education, and reporting of hate crimes. This, of course, is just the beginning. There is so much more that needs to be done — on both an individual and systemic level — to ensure the safety, protection, and recognition of Asian Americans in our communities.

For home cooks, one way to do so is by supporting and celebrating AAPI-owned businesses and ventures, whether that be stopping into your local Asian American supermarkets and restaurants or turning to one of these brands for kitchen tools, home goods, beverages, and so much more.

You wouldn’t think it’d be possible for a cutting board to have a fan club, and yet here we are. The entire Kitchn team is in love with Material’s recycled plastic cutting boards, which come in six trendy colors and do not stain over time. Of course, the direct-to-consumer cookware brand (founded by Eunice Byun and Dave Nguyen) also makes other items — including a nonstick pan, knives, and a spatula that we can’t say enough good things about.

Buy: reBoard, $35 at Material

Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen really needs no introduction. She’s made such a name for herself in the culinary world that she now has her own line of cookware. (Her pots and pans are as functional as they are gorgeous.) In her shop, you’ll also find cute reusable storage bags, knives, spices, and more.

Buy: Everyday Family Pan, $40 at Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

If you’ve scrolled around on Instagram at all recently, you’ve probably seen the now-famous Always Pan. It’s from another direct-to-consumer cookware company and founded by Shiza Shahid, who spent years designing this pan that’s meant to fit into the multiethnic American kitchen. It often sells out, and certain colors tend to have very deep waiting lists, so get yours when you see it.

Buy: Always Pan, $145 at Our Place

If there’s just one thing we’ve learned from working with Grace Young over the years, it’s that the Wok Shop in San Francisco is one of the best places to get a wok. (Of course, we’ve learned lots more from Grace!) Grace says to get the 14-inch carbon steel wok with a flat bottom and wood side handle (read more here). “Ask the owner, Tane Chan, for a second opinion,” Grace says. “I do think she’ll back me up, though.”

Buy: 14-Inch Carbon Steel Wok With Flat Bottom and Wood Side Handle, $35

Everything you see in this online pottery shop is handmade by Sam Lee. Which means that things tend to sell out, but there’s still usually something for everyone. Shop planters, mugs, vases, and more.

Buy: Milo Carved Mug, $40 at Sam Lee

Ceramicist and artist Carrie Lau was born and raised in Hong Kong. Now she lives in Los Angeles where she plays with colors and shapes. Check out some of her super-fun objects or pick up a cup or mug for your WFH desk. Once again, she’s a small pottery shop, so things do sell out.

Buy: Hand Painted Sprinkles Cup, $50

The oldest store in New York City’s Chinatown, Wing on Wo & Co has been in operation since 1925. The storefront is closed (open for pick-up only; the pandemic has been especially tough on Chinatowns all around the globe), but you can shop online for gorgeous teapots, dinner plates, bowls, and other quality porcelain pieces.

Buy: Blue and White Teaset, $50 at Wing on Wo & Co

Established in 1991 in Los Angeles, Saikai works to highlight well-designed products made by Japanese master craftsmen and designers throughout Japan. Browse through the website to learn about wares from lots of interesting makers and click on the retail list to find a seller near you.

Read more: Saikai

Founded by Virginia Sin, SIN pieces have caught Gwyneth Paltrow’s eye and the porcelain paper plates have been used during dinner service at Eleven Madison Park in New York City. The Pronged Fruit Bowl is one of the brand’s most popular items and we love seeing various sizes and colors pop up at places like West Elm, Terrain, and Food52.

Established in 1972, KINTO originally started out as a wholesaler of tableware in Shiga, Japan. The brand eventually began developing their own line of products, with a focus on bringing comfort and inspiration into everyday life. The brand now makes simple-yet-beautiful tableware, glassware, and more.

Buy: Capsule Water Carafe, $25 at Kinto

Founded in 1971, Pearl River Mart has become a New York City institution, where shoppers can find Asian-inspired home furnishings, kitchen gear, and, well, pretty much anything you can think of. Browse their site to see what we mean.

Buy: Assorted Blue on White Design Square Plate Set, $32.50 at Pearl River Mart

Pawena Thimaporn grew up on a farm in Thailand and studied industrial design and ceramics before moving to the States. She works full-time in the design industry and runs Pawena Studio on the side. Her pieces are popular and sell out, so you have to be quick.

Buy: Green Dotted Planters, from $60 at Pawena Studio

Eliza Blank started The Sill with her personal savings and a clever Kickstarter campaign. Now, it’s a million-dollar plant company with a loyal fan base. If you don’t have a single live plant in your kitchen, it’s time to change that.

Buy: Coffee Plant, $35 at The Sill

Founded in 2003 by husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, Poketo is meant to infuse art and design into every day. The brand focuses on curating design-conscious goods, and their own line of tabletop gear should not be missed.

Buy: Bamboo Dinner Plate Set in Drops, $48 for four at Poketo

Catherine Choi overcame a serious heroin addiction and has been clean for more than 20 years. Her personal journey led her to start SoYoung as a diaper bag brand. Now, the company makes super-sleek lunch bags that you can surely put to use — even if you’re not packing lunch for an office these days.

Buy: Block Lunch Poche, $42 at SoYoung

While lots of the companies on this list give back to charity, Pam Chueh founded Circular Place so that she could give back. All of the profits are donated directly to charities focused on education, and everything is pay-what-you-wish (there is a minimum). Be sure to check out the cute fridge magnets and the food-themed necklaces (like banana spilt and black licorice!).

Buy: breakfast club magnet set by greatjones, from $25 for three at Circular Place

Nguyen Coffee Supply was founded by Sahra Nguyen, a first-generation Vietnamese American. The company partners with a fourth-generation farmer, Mr. Ton, who owns and operates his family farm in Vietnam’s famed Central Highlands.

BuyTRUEGRIT, $14 for 12 ounces at Nguyen Coffee Supply

It’s no secret how much Kitchn editors love Brightland. We include it in almost every gift guide we do — because the stuff is that good! The brand was founded by Aishwarya Iyer in 2015 when she realized the subpar supermarket olive oil she was buying was making her feel … well, subpar. Now she makes traceable, high-quality olive oil she trusts — and they come in beautifully designed, protective powder-coated bottles.

BuyThe Duo, $74 for two 12.7-ounce bottles at Brightland

Sana Javeri Kadri founded Diaspora Co., a tiny spice company with big ambitions to disrupt what she has called an outdated and unjust spice trade. The brand now has a huge and loyal fan base, with an ever-growing list of spices on offer. Their turmeric, Sannam chillies, cardamom, and cacao are all staff favorites.

BuyBuild Your Trio, from $27 at Diaspora Co.

Another spice brand we absolutely love: Spicewalla was founded by Meherwan Irani, who in 2009 quit his day job in sales to open his first restaurant. He’s now a four-time James Beard Award-nominated chef and another disrupter of the spice industry. Spicewalla’s spices are super-fresh, small-batch, and packed and processed by hand. And they come in these cute-yet-practical tins.

Buy: Choose Your Own Essentials 10-Pack, $49.99 at Spicewalla

Vanessa and Kim Pham launched Omsom during the global pandemic. “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,” the sisters say on their website. Omsom’s little starter packs of spices and seasonings help home cooks to make classic Asian dishes like larb, spicy bulgogi, sisig, and more.

After moving to the United States, Cuong Pham missed the flavors of his childhood in Saigon. “Not even the vibrant Asian markets of San Francisco offered the intensely fragrant first-press fish sauce, nước mắm nhi, that Cuong remembered from Vietnam,” says the Red Boat Fish Sauce website. He left his job in 2011 and started the food brand, which now makes fish sauce, salts, caramels, and more.

Buy: Red Boat Fish Sauce, $7.49 for a 8.45 fluid ounce bottle at Thrive Market

Jing Gao (who went by Jenny for most of her life before reclaiming her birth name) founded Fly By Jing in 2018, inspired by the flavors of her hometown, Chengdu. The Sichuan Chili Crisp is, by far, the brand’s most popular offering, but the line also includes Zhong Sauce, Mala Spice Mix, and more.

Buy: Sichuan Chili Crisp, $15 for 6 ounces at Fly By Jing

“I’m Indian so drinking chai is basically in my blood,” says Farah Jesani. She grew up with chai and, after a brief affair with coffee, went back to chai and eventually set out to bring the South Asian beverage to craft coffee shops in the States.

Tarush and Jasleen Agarwal are first-generation Indian immigrants who realized that the paneer, a fresh Indian cheese, in the U.S. left something to be desired. They founded Sāch and started making artisanal paneer with high-quality ingredients. They even have flavored paneer, including a Spicy Habanero and Turmeric Twist.

Buy: The Original, $7.99 at Sāch

Inspired by the blank palate of an ice cream base, Pooja Bavishi founded Malai, which features the South Asian spices of her childhood — including ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, and saffron.

Buy: Rose with Cinnamon Roasted Almonds, $12 for one pint at Malai

Chitra Agrawal is the chef behind all of Brooklyn Delhi’s award-winning sauces and condiments — she’s also a cookbook author and Kitchn contributor. All of her offerings at Brooklyn Delhi are well-reviewed, but the Tomato Achaar — a zingy blend of tomatoes, tamarind, garlic, and chili powder — is a fan-favorite.

BuyBrooklyn Delhi Tomato Achaar, $9.95 for 9 ounces

Inspired by her Filipino-Polish roots, Alexandra Dorda created Kasama, which is small-batch rum with a hint of sweet pineapples and vanilla. It just launched in February, and people are already talking about it. Fun fact: Alexandra is the daughter of the founder of Chopin Vodka and Belvedere!

BuyKasama Rum, $29.99 for 750ml at Kasama Rum

KaiYen Mai’s family has been honing the craft of making traditional Asian jerky for nearly 50 years, so it’s no surprise that she decided to launch her own company. But it took a trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to come up with the idea!

BuyOriginal Hickory Beef Jerky, $3.99 for 1 ounce at Fusion Jerky

Founded by New Yorker Nigel Sielegar, Moon Man specializes in kaya, a rich and aromatic coconut jam popular in Southeast Asia. The Indonesian designer offers kaya in three flavors — pandan, ube, and Java palm sugar — all of which are excellent slathered on toast, topped on ice cream, or even whipped into a pot de creme.

Buy: Kaya Jam Combo, $34 for three 12-ounce jars at Moon Man

Phil Wang and Ann Yang (who transitioned to being an advisor) launched Misfit Foods from their college dorm room as a business that turned ugly fruits into juice. It made a pivot in recent years and now creates plant-forward products that use a 50-50 blend of veggies and meat in an effort to reduce our environmental impact. (The company even got a deal on Shark Tank!) The chicken sausages and ground beef are packed full of flavor and come in combos such as Citrus Kale, Curry Carrot, and Beet Gochujang.

Buy: Shark Tank Sampler, $39.99 at Misfit Foods

Lauryn Chung is so passionate about kimchi, she has written an entire cookbook devoted to the fermented Korean staple. Chung founded Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi using a recipe from her family’s California restaurant, and she continues to hand-cut the vegetables that go in it. The brand also has a line of gochujang, a versatile fermented chile paste that can be used as a marinade or dip.

Buy: House Napa Cabbage Kimchi, $51 for six 16-ounce jars at Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi

Kevin Chanthasiriphan and Kevin Lee grew up working with their families in the markets of Taiwan and Thailand. The both love ramen and decided to start Immi to pay homage to their favorite foods, while also helping get high-quality ingredients. Bonus: Their bowls are keto-friendly.

Buy: Variety Pack, $56.24 for 9 bowls at Immi

Inspired by heirloom family recipes, Maya Kaimal uses traditional Indian flavors to make some of our very favorite simmer sauces and meal starters. There’s a real Maya Kaimal, of course! She’s an award-winning cookbook author and was raised in Boston by a South Indian father and a mother from New England.

Buy: Maya Kaimal Madras Curry Sauce, $4.99 for 12.5 ounces

LOMLI Coffee (an acronym for “Love of My Life”) was started by Donna Kim to help people enjoy coffee anywhere. These sustainable steeped coffee bags can be prepared, well, anywhere — as long as you have water and a mug.

Eco-friendly Vietnamese pour-over company Copper Cow Coffee was started by Debbie Wei-Mullin, a first-generation Vietnamese American. The best part? There is no equipment necessary. Simply hang the wings of the bag over your cup and wet the coffee grinds, pouring enough water to submerge the grounds. Add sweetened condensed milk and you have a delicious Vietnames pour-over coffee. 

Sanzo was founded by Sandro Roco to celebrate Asian flavors in the form of sparkling water. The line includes Lychee, Calamansi, and Mango flavors and is made with real fruit and zero added sugar.

Us Two Tea is a farm-to-cup tea company, started by Maggie Xue, that sources and processes all the tea leaves at tea farms in Taiwan. Xue’s mission? To reclaim Taiwanese tea culture in the U.S. and attract new generations of tea drinkers.

These canned nitro-brewed Thai iced teas and coffees were inspired by Emshika Alberini’s family recipes and are made from 100-percent natural ingredients. All items in the line are dairy-free and contain no added sugar.

Hannah Bae named her company Noona’s Ice Cream after the Korean word for big sister. Her goal? To diversify the ice cream selection at food stores and make flavors such as Thai Iced Tea, Toasted Rice, Black Sesame, Yuzu Blossom (and so many more!) more widely available. 

Buy: Toasted Rice Tub, $43 for 80 ounces (equivalent to 6 pints) from Noona’s Ice Cream

Maivino — founded by Mai Vu — is making bagged wine cool again. These bagged (vegan) wines are not only gorgeously packaged, but they’re also meant to stay fresh for 32 days after opening. Also, three bags of Maivino are the equivalent of 6 full-sized bottles of wine, reducing the wine’s carbon footprint by 80 percent.

Vincent Kitirattragarn named Dang Foods after his mom (Mama Dang), whose recipe for Thai lettuce wraps inspired the first item in the packaged snack line: toasted coconut chips. Dang Foods now offers keto bars, Thai rice chips, and coconut chips in a wide variety of flavors.

Founded by Andrea Xu, Umamicart is an online grocery store that curates Asian products and ingredients (both fresh and shelf-stable!). Right now, they only deliver to states in the Northeast, but are rapidly expanding.

More info: Umamicart

Crave Natural was founded by Lin Jang to create a line of convenient, nutritious oatmeal cups for busy people. The cups are all inspired by traditional Chinese recipes. They come in four flavors — Glow, Focus, Calm, and Energy — and are made with ingredients such as black sesame, goji, dates, cherries, chia, and coconut sugar.

Dina Shi started Tochi Snacks after being inspired by the unique salted egg flavor (which is derived from the yolk of preserved duck eggs) on a trip to Southeast Asia. She quit her job and started a snack line, featuring salted egg, which includes potato chips, popcorn, and fish crisps. 

Mason Dixie comes to us from Ayeshah Abuelhiga, a Maryland native who founded Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. back in 2014. Customers were so obsessed with her biscuits that she packed them up into a frozen offering, available at grocery stores nationwide. These days her line includes sweet buns and scones too, all made with simple ingredients. 

“My journey to use less single-use plastic began when I became a new mom,” says Sarah Paiji Yoo, co-founder and CEO of Blueland. “I founded Blueland with the belief that we shouldn’t have to sacrifice a clean home for a clean planet.” Blueland makes eco-friendly cleaning supplies, using as little packaging as possible. The idea, for the most part, is that you get a “Forever Bottle,” which you just refill time and and time again with small tablets.

Founded by Jules Acree (from the mindfulness blog Om & The City), The Home Bodies curates sustainable goods from small-batch makers and mindful brands. You’ll find all sorts of goodies on the site, including matcha and bath stuff, but we’re especially excited about the cleaning supplies that’ll help with dish duty.

Buy: Bamboo Hand Brush, $7 at The Home Bodies

Cook Smarts is all about organizing … your meal plans. Founded by Jess Dang, the site is a meal plan service that delivers a wide range of recipes, a one-click shopping list, and more. Don’t have time to look for new recipes? Want a personal assistant in the kitchen? This site can help.

Sign up: One-Month Trial, $14.99 at Cook Smarts

Based in Philadelphia and founded by Kaz and Yuka Morihata, Rikumo is a lifestyle brand that highlights Japanese craftsmanship, design, and aesthetics. We want everything in their shop, but the Moku towels have a loyal fan base.

Buy: Moku Light Towel, $20 at Rikumo

Of course this list is just a starting point. Add more of your favorites in the comments below!

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