Umamicart works to demystify the Asian grocery shopping experience by created sections like “Pantry 101” that offers a selection of must-haves in any Asian kitchen. This includes an eclectic mix of soybean paste, fried chili oil, oyster sauce, as well as Japanese curry sauce, and miso. Another section labeled simply as “Asian American” features a range of boutique labels that were established by Asian American founders. The site also offers sections with listed ingredients to create an authentic Asian meal, like hotpot, dumplings, or mapo tofu.
Xu’s site has more than pantry staples — she also offers up a selection of meats, vegetables, and seafood, made possible by her interest in the Asian grocery supply chain. “I had read an article while I was in college about why Asian groceries from Chinatown are actually really fresh — even though sometimes people claim them to be cheap and put skepticism around it,” she tells Thrillist. “I have found it really fascinating that it is because all these Asian vegetables come from a parallel supply chain that is small farms. They come directly to you on the same day and there’s less waste.”