For the late-night gourmand, a nose-full of diesel can be as tantalizing as a whiff of searing foie — proof that food trucks are near, and therefore, good eats. And yet these days the food scene’s one-time underground has breached the surface, which means big crowds and long lines. Good news, then, as the best of today’s street food comes indoors in this month’s Mantry. Serve up your favorite truck-bound fare in the comfort of your kitchen. Or, if you must, grab a flimsy paper plate and stand in the driveway. Either way, the streets have never tasted so good.
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.
The Dream Team Behind KPOP Foods…
Mike & Theo (Met in College)
The Story (In their own words)…
“Mike and Theo met at UCLA Anderson, and the late nights in business school turned into late nights at Korean BBQ. Seeing their friends delighted reactions to the delicious and communal experience of Korean food sparked an idea: they could bring Korean flavors right to the people! Using Theo’s grandma’s secret recipe for Korean gochujang sauce, Mike and Theo created their first bottle of KPOP Sauce. Right there, KPOP Foods was born.”
Sweet Potato Fries w/ Kimchi Mayo Recipe
We used Japanese Sweet Potatoes called Murasaki which are sweeter and nuttier, but honestly, anything you douse this sauce in will taste top notch.
2 lbs. Murasaki (Japanese Sweet Potatoes) or Regular Sweet Potatoes
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
KPOP Kimchi Mayo
Benny T’s Vesta Dry Hot Sauce
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into sticks 1/4 wide, toss them with oil and spread on 1–2 baking sheets.
- Bake until brown and crisp on the bottom, about 15 minutes, then flip and cook until the other side is crisp, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.
- Toss with Benny T’s Vesta Dry Hot Sauce, salt, parsley and serve with Kimchi Mayo for dunking.
Pro Tip: Heat the baking sheets in the oven first for extra crispy fries.
KPOP Hawaiian Breakfast Sandwich Recipe Here
Dry Hot Sauce // Benny T’s Vesta // Raleigh, NC
In 7 years of Mantry, we have come across A LOT of hot sauce. From sauces made with Connecticut apples to Texas Habaneros and beyond but out of the blue Benny has created a true original with the first “Dry Hot Sauce”. This is versatile stuff, dust on everything from corn on the cob to oven baked wings for the big game. We love taking a page out of the street food playbook of Latin America by shaking Benny’s T’s Vesta over fresh, ripe mango. The salty, sweet, spicy, juicy combo will transport you to the streets of Mexico faster than any airplane ever could.
Notice the sleek packaging? Scope the Vesta packaging evolution….
“Our branding and packaging have come a long way since the honey pot jars and leaflets we started with in 2007. After years of research, product sourcing, and community feedback we’ve created a unique and unifying look for our original product in a jar that delivers it onto your favorite dishes in a simple shake.” — Benny T
More Ideas On How to Use… Right Here
Matcha Chai Latte // Tea Pigs // Brooklyn, NY
Go to any rural tea stall in India and you’ll get an aromatic cup of chai spiked with cardamom and cloves. Go to the foothills of Uji in Japan and you’ll find Matcha served street side in just about everything. Luckily, Tea Pigs combines these two great tea titans into one tasty, refreshing and energizing beverage. We’ve worked this organic Matcha Latte into our morning routine but also started sneaking a pack or two on flights where we can see the alternative of bad drip coffee is green with envy.
How to make a Matcha Latte:
- Pour 1 sachet of matcha into your mug.
- Make 1 cup of hot, frothy milk. (plant based or dairy both work, but we love almond milk!)
- Add a splash of this milk to your mug and whisk until the matcha is smooth and there are no clumps.
- Top with the rest of the frothy milk.
More ideas here…
Dry Cured Chorizo // Aurelia’s // Austin, TX
One of the most memorable parts of eating your way around Mexico are the breakfasts. Waking up steeped in a morning fog from one too many foamy beers the night before, it seems as if Mexican food was devised with a hangover in mind. Stumble up to any roadside stall and within minutes appears a plate of nourishing beans, sizzling eggs and garlicky chorizo all adorned with fresh pico de gallo. In a small town an hour north of Austin, Leslie Horne makes some of the best dry-cured chorizo in America, packing a similar punch to the fresh Mexican variety. Slept through breaky? Nothing says ‘¡Vamos!’ at kickoff like chorizo breakfast.
Aurelia’s Chorizo Breakfast Tacos Recipe
Aurelia’s Chorizo, sliced into coins.
1/2 avocado sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Mexican Cheese like Cotija, or Monterrey Jack
4 x 6" flour tortillas, warmed
1. Heat an oiled skillet over medium heat and fry chorizo until lightly browned.
2. Whisk eggs in a bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper. Heat butter in skillet over medium heat. Scramble eggs, stirring occasionally until just set, about 2–3 minutes.
3. Fill tortillas with egg, chorizo and top with cheese, avocado, and cilantro.
Olde English Lemonade & Collins Mix // El Guapo // New Orleans, LA
Lemonade that cool refreshing drink… has launched many an entrepreneurial career for 12-year-olds parked curbside the world over. Well, this cup is all grown up with an addition of gin to adulterate it. We have always been huge fans of El Guapo who create some of the best bitters and cocktail syrups in the country out of the cocktail kingdom of NOLA. This is not the Country Time powdered stuff, made with hand juiced lemons with a hint of ginger this syrup will make any mediocre bar hand into a mixologist.
Or here’s the skinny from El Guapo:
“Instantly recognizable as a traditional English lemonade with a classic Victorian flavor profile. This syrup is full of fresh bright lemony goodness that is lightly accented with a hint of ginger as well as light aromas and flavors of cress, rosemary, and lavender. Made with hand juiced and peeled lemons and fresh local produce. Used most frequently with gin, this syrup makes an excellent French 75, Tom Collins or Arnold Palmer. You may also sub this for sour mix in recipes to instantly elevate any cocktail.”
Tom Collins — aka Spiked Lemonade:
In a Collins glass filled with ice add 1 jigger Gin or Vodka, 3/4 parts El Guapo Lemonade Mix. Top with club soda and El Guapo Love Potion #9 Bitters.
Bawnmore Irish Grassfed Beef Jerky // Bawnmore // Ridgewood, NJ
Oh the Irish… Boxing, Boston mob movies and of course beef. Ireland does a couple of things well and one of them is grass. Specifically lush, green pastures that their cows graze on. The result? Really healthy, high-quality jerky that has all the integrity of a perfectly poured pint of Guinness. Don’t take it from us, have a read of the founder’s story.
I was born and raised amid the farmlands of Ireland. Growing up, every one of my schoolmates was the child of a farmer. These families had farmed the land for generations, and I saw from an early age how they dedicated themselves to taking care of their animals and their fields. In our community it was common for families to have their own dairy, egg and meat products at mealtime, practicing “farm-to-table” before the term became popular.
I have lived in America for half of my life. I came across beef jerky some years ago and quickly became a regular consumer. I would often make it at home. I always preferred jerky made from grass-fed beef, because I knew that it was better for the cattle and healthier for me. But I would often find that grass-fed beef jerky was either very expensive (in store) or not always available (online). I thought back to the Sunday roasts that I used to enjoy in Ireland and wondered whether I would ever find protein snacks made from Irish beef. Then one day I heard that Ireland had received permission to export its beef to the USA. I knew this was my chance to share my love of Irish beef and my passion for making meat snacks here in America — a powerful link between my Irish roots and my American home. The inspiration for Bawnmore was born.
There are several reasons why Irish beef is the perfect starting point for a top-quality protein snack. Most people already know that Ireland has the perfect conditions for growing grass, which is why Irish grass-fed butter and cheese are already very popular here in America. But it gets even better. Each piece of Irish beef is fully traceable back to the farm and herd from which it came. And the beef is sustainably produced, coming from farmers whose families have been stewards of the land for several generations.
While developing our products, I also saw an opportunity to improve a category that was already good. Too often in the beef jerky world, the health benefit of a protein snack is offset by the spoonfuls of added sugar in every bag. I set out to make a product that would be healthier but that could still taste great, using simple, clean recipes. I’m excited to share the results with you now.
Ed Russell, Founder