Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is in full swing, and while you might not be able to head out to your favorite local business this May, there are still plenty of ways to support a slew of incredible Asian-American culinary businesses—now and after the world starts to come back to normal. Below you’ll find some of our favorites from around the country (who are shipping their products, even if their brick-and-mortar isn’t open at the moment!), from a cult-adored chili sauce to bamboo chopsticks and refreshing Indian-inspired ice cream.
Makgeolli is Korea’s oldest alcoholic drink, and Makku is brewed just outside of Seoul and sold in America. Makku is made from all-natural Korean ingredients like Gimpo rice, Gapyeong mountain water, and live cultures. (Psst: They go great with Korean potato pancakes, a traditional pairing for makgeolli.)
Chowhound’s Executive Editor Hana Asbrink can’t get enough of Fly by Jing’s Sichuan chili crisp, which can be poured over everything from fried eggs to pizza and noodles. Fly by Jing also peddles dumpling sauces and spice mixes.
This small-batch chili oil made in Los Angeles is a reflection of founder Max Boonthanakit’s Thai and Chinese upbringing, packed with the likes of chiles, garlic, anchovies, and sunflower oil.
Kimchi fans should get to know Mother in Law’s Kimchi, a female-operated business that flaunts a range of kimchi flavors (like spicy and seaweed), along with gochujang, a fermented chile sauce that’s sprinkled with sesame and garlic.
Stock up on a slew of Indian condiments—like mango chutney, tomato curry, and roasted garlic achaar—from cookbook writer Chitra Agarwal.
Mylen Yamamoto wants you to eschew wooden chopsticks for ones made from bamboo—whose creation don’t lend to millions of trees chopped down. Stock up these light, dainty chopsticks, and grab a biodegradable straw while you’re at it.
Nourish Co. is a lifestyle company founded by Kristin Eriko Posner, who fuses her Japanese-American upbringing with her recent conversion to Judaism. Here, you can purchase Japanese ritual cups, challah covers, and ceramic candle trays.
Atonae was born out of Atoboy, a Korean restaurant in N.Y.C., an accompanying business that is selling a small collection of items like Seoul-made plates and bowls and Korean pantry staples like Kisoondo gochujang and Hanega brown rice vinegar.
Aishwarya Iyer and her husband found that generic American olive oil wasn’t exactly as good for you as we’re often led to believe. So Aishwarya took inspiration from her South Indian ancestors, crafting an olive oil tugged from the California sun and soil. Shop chic, artist-designed bottles, dish towels, and journals online.
Shop Taiwanese teas, teapots, and pineapple linzer cookies (the tea shop’s speciality!) from Té Company, a teeny salon in the West Village.
Looking to add to your spice collection? Head to Diaspora Co., which specializes in Indian spices like pragati turmeric, single origin aranya pepper, and sannam chillies.
Sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham are the geniuses behind Omsom, a Southeast Asian-inspired company that works with chefs at restaurants like Fish Cheeks, Madame Vo, and Jeepney to craft sauces “starters” for cooking at home. The pre-packaged sauces and spices are mixed with whatever you like, but ultimately generate the base for traditional Southeast Asian dishes (like Thai larb and Filipino sisig).
As a kid, founder Justin Gil’s grandma (aka, Bachan) taught him how to make her recipe for a Japanese BBQ sauce. Now Justin sells the small-batch teriyaki-like sauce online, packed with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, green onions, and mirin. Nothing else required!
Founded by two Asian-American best friends, Potli showcases cannabinoid-enhanced pantry items (all products are THC-free). Add hemp-infused raw honey, cold-press olive oil, and chili oil to your pantry.
Cooking is simply hard sometimes, so when you just need a break, try out Nomz, a food delivery service, which offers savory Asian soups that promote clean eating. Choose from options like mushroom medley, chicken shitake, heritage pork lotus, and brisket radish.
South Asian chef Meherwan Irani is the brains behind Spicewalla, your new destination for spices, herbs, and salts. Grab everything from basil and caraway seeds to dill weed and mace powder from this Asheville, North Carolina-based spice purveyor.
N.Y.C.-based Junzi Kitchen serves fast-casual Chinese rice bowls, noodles, salads, and chuna bings (Northern Chinese wraps). If you’re in the area you can place an order for contact-free delivery on all of the delivery platforms, or you can donate money to fund meals to frontline healthcare workers.
Fat Rice—a Chicago restaurant showcasing Macau cuisine—has recently pivoted to selling cook kits, filled with produce, spices, grains, and prepared items, along with cocktail kits and Asian speciality items like Indo Mie Noodles and fermented black beans.
Although the beloved Echo Park institution is currently closed during the coronavirus pandemic, you can still support the business by ordering hojicha milk jam, a super soft sweatshirt, or a green baseball cap.
The Santa Monica and Culver City locations of Father’s Office from restaurateur Sang Yoon are currently open for pick-up of both food and beer—so you can still grab the famed Office Burger packed with caramelized onions, bacon, gruyère, Maytag blue cheese, and arugula. Plus bakers and anyone with a sweet tooth can recreate Helms Bakery’s cookies by ordering a cookie kit on DoorDash, complete with all the dry ingredients necessary to make a dozen chocolate chip cookies (and the heritage Helms Bakery cookie tin to boot).
This small Malaysian cafe on the Lower East Side is serving a limited menu due to COVID-19, but you can also order jars and bags of Malaysian coffee (ground or beans), along with swag like hats, totes, and sweatshirts, if you’re not in the New York—and all proceeds go to benefit the Kopitiam team.
One of the oldest dim sum parlors in NYC, Nom Wah is currently slinging pork siu mai and noodles for pick-up and delivery in New York—and you can even order a case of frozen dumplings to make yourself at home.
Founder Pooja Bavishi launched her small business a couple of years ago, toting Indian-inspired ice cream (in flavors like mango and cream) to local grocery stories. Now you can order pints online, or if you’re in the New York City area, visit her scoop shop in Brooklyn, which has limited weekend hours.
Master candy maker Susanna Yoon crafts delicate chocolate bonbons—in a rainbow of colors and patterns—at her Nolita store, she’s also shipping boxes of chocolates and caramels nationwide.
Founder Hannah Bae never saw a representation of Asian-American ice cream flavors in stores—so she decided to make her own. Enter Noona’s Ice Cream, which boasts flavors inspired by her Korean-American identity (expect the likes of dalgona coffee, toasted rice, and turmeric honeycomb).
Joanne Chang’s Boston-based Flour Bakery is beloved for those wonderfully sticky pecan buns, and while the bakery is currently open for take-out and delivery, if you’re not in the area, Flour is still selling some items online: Purchase DIY baking kits, yeast, all-purpose and bread flour, spicy pecans, signed cookbooks, and lots of swag.
Morgan Ione Photography