Guidebook in one hand, fork in the other: travel means eating. And eating means street food. While the tourist hordes flock to this church or that, scenic overlooks, museums and monuments, we worship the dusting of chili on our mango, snap selfies with the swirl of sriracha in our pho, send postcards of pushcarts, blogpost the back alleys. The world is our kitchen. In fact — maybe all you need is the fork. Ditch the guide and follow your gut. Smells of frying spices beckon down this side street, the steam of roasted treats leads you round that corner (if only Instagram had smell-o-vision!) Or, let us pick your route for you. From Sichuan-via-LA to SA-via-Brooklyn, here are some of the best street food mashups from around the world.
Fast 5 Uses:
- On Noodles
- On Pizza
- On Fish Tacos
- On Ice Cream
- On Dumplings
Mala Spice Mix // Fly By Jing // Los Angeles, CA
A product like this Mala spice is why we love what we do. A maker invites you into their kitchen to share what they loved growing up. Whether it's Chengdu to Bengaluru, New Orleans to the Philippines we all get to discover new dishes and tastes and maybe even cultures through products. We're pumped on Jing because even if you know next to nothing about Sichuan food, she makes you feel welcome to try it and experiment. If you don't want to go full Mapo Tofu, there's no shame in dusting a little mala spice on popcorn or a piece of fried chicken. Just dive in, use it early and often and you'll find yourself learning a little bit more than you knew before, which is the point after all.
From the Maker:
"Mala, the signature flavor of Sichuan cuisine means "spicy and numbing". With a mix of 11 potent herbs and spices, including Erjingtiao chili and the prized "Tribute" Sichuan pepper, this dry spice blend adds oomph to any spice rub, batter, or rim of a marg on a Friday night."
Fast 5 Uses:
- On Popcorn
- On Grilled Meats
- On Corn On The Cob
- On Roasted Vegetables
- Rim A Cocktail
Sichuan Chili Crisp // Fly By Jing // Los Angeles, CA
We've said it before and we'll say it again, your pantry is your closet for food. If it is empty and company comes over, you're in trouble. A couple of key items can help you dress up or dress down any situation. Well, Fly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp is a cornerstone product. It can add spice, and warmth to soups, it can be drizzled over pizza, it can heighten any noodle, hell it basically makes any mundane dish taste like you've been tweaking flavors for hours. Jing was inspired by the flavors of her hometown of Chengdu and has masterfully packaged them up to be more approachable to the uninitiated. Just beware, one spoonful and you may just become addicted.
Chocolate Tahini // Soom // Philadelphia, PA
Tahini (sesame seed paste) is an utterly underrated product in our humble opinion. Remember that delicious donair you housed after one too many libations? Chances are it had garlicky, tahini sauce on it. It’s the ingredient you don’t notice but quietly MAKES hummus. But when the Tahini Queens at Soom launched chocolate tahini, they took a middle eastern staple in a new, delicious direction. You can blend it, spread it (we love it on crepes), or eat spoon it out of the jar.
Fast 5 Uses:
- Chocolate Tahini Cookies
- On Ice Cream
- In A Smoothie
- Chocolate Tahini S'Mores
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites
Naked Biltong // Brooklyn Biltong // Brooklyn, NY
In South Africa, biltong is a way of life. Everyone makes the salty sweet meat treats, but Brooklyn Biltong’s founder Ben was lucky: his Granddad’s was the best in town, and he spent his childhood filling paper bags with handfuls at his family’s Pretoria butcher shop. While you and your buddies suffered through Slim Jims, Ben snacked on juicy, rich strips of air-dried goodness. He still makes it the old way: marinated with spices and slowly cured, not dehydrated, and never heated so it stays supple and chewy, even though it’s built to last, staying fresh on pantry shelves or stuffed in saddlebags for a long road ahead — as if you can wait to dig in.
Kimchi Mayo // KPOP Foods // Los Angeles, CA
We’re big believers the world needs to experience more Korean flavors from Kim Chi to Gochujang to Galbi and Black Garlic. This sauce may have foreign origins but it is a go-to partner for any American classic whether it’s pizza, hot dogs, burgers or nachos. You’re just one squeeze from helping a dish K Pop off.
Fast 5 Uses:
- With Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Over Fried Rice
- Chicken Salad Sandwich
- Over Grilled Fish
- Dip Sushi In It
Sweet Potato Fries With Kimchi Mayo Recipe Here
KPOP Hawaiian Breakfast Sandwich Recipe Here
Pork Panko // Bacon’s Heir // Atlanta, GA
Panko — the flaky, crunchy, Japanese breadcrumbs — are what make tempura and katsu pork shatteringly crisp. Pork Panko has eliminated the bread and gluten and subbed in nature’s great giver of flavor, ground pork rinds. The big surprise? These actually improve on the original. It provides an instant upgrade sprinkled over pasta or used anywhere you would use breadcrumbs. We dig it for this chicken katsu sandwich and to add crunch to nachos.
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