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Some pairings just make sense. Football and beer, wine and cheese, boat shoes and trust funds. My personal favorite is take-out and ’90s sitcoms. Every now and then, I’ll call in pad thai from a neighborhood restaurant or a piping hot bowl of ramen on a rainy day as I watch Carrie simp over Mr. Big again and again and again. There’s just something about being on my sofa with chopsticks and Netflix that makes for overindulgent evening bliss.
But in this economy, I’m in no position to be paying exorbitant UberEats service fees on top of tips (tipping is non-negotiable, obviously). The obvious solution is to cook, but here’s the problem: I’m lazy. The convenience of instant sustenance is unmatched (which is maybe why I also swear by Cometeer coffee). I’m not about to spend my weekday evenings cooking up a storm when I can instead have a classy single-use plastic take out container arrive at my doorstep with a tap on my phone. The long hours of prep and clean up involved with cooking don’t entice me in any way because I know that my efforts will never come close to that of my “Order Again” recommendations list.
This is especially true having lived in Asia for over eighteen years; I’m all too familiar with the hours of prep required to concoct oh-so mouthwatering broth or ultra-tender beef. Don’t get me started on the hard-to-find spices and funky shaped vegetables I’d need to make that kind of magic happen.
Because of this, I like to think I’m in a position of authority to talk about why I am thoroughly enjoying the brand Omsom. They create starters, which are individual sauce packets that can be used as a marinade, stir-fry, glaze or dressing to let you recreate Asian dishes at home without hours of prep and hard-to-find ingredients. Simply rip open a sauce packet, mix it into one pound of protein or vegetables and cook as you wish.
How I use it:
I received the Omsom Starter Bundle, a brightly colored pull-out box of six sauce packets that makes for a fun gift, in the flavor profiles Southeast Asian (Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese) and East Asian (Japanese, Chinese and Korean Starters).
I use the starters as a marinade and I find that it’s the quickest way to prepare an outstanding meal with little to no effort. I’ll use one packet for two days worth of meal prep or to quickly whip up an impressive dinner for two. My favorite is the smoky sweet Spicy Bulgogi sauce, which I mix into pork belly and let marinade for thirty minutes before grilling on a pan. I typically can’t handle spice but the Spicy Bulgogi is just the right amount of hot and tangy. I’ll serve this with rice, and if I’m feeling fancy (i.e., not that lazy), I’ll throw in some store-bought Korean side dishes like kimchi for an upgraded experience.
Why I swear by it:
What’s fun about the Omsom starters is that they’re totally customizable and allow you to take a more laid-back approach to home cooking. It can be used as a quick fix dinner whipped up in fifteen minutes after a particularly taxing day. They also allow you to create a tour de force when you’re feeling creative. The site has a ton of recipes to explore and experiment with whether you’re challenged in the kitchen like myself or an aspiring chef. As someone who is both lazy and Asian, I can see the Omsom starters becoming a pantry staple for a while. You can get a box of one flavor that piques your interest, sample all East Asian or Southeast Asian flavors, or full send and get all six flavors with the Starters Bundle.
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