9 Northern Thai and Isaan Dishes You Need to KnowBy Jenny Miller | January 28, 2014 By Jenny Miller | January 28, 2014
Taking the pulse of this country's dining scene, it's clear we're in the midst of the second great awakening of Thai food. A new crop of restaurants is departing from the ubiquitous pad Thai and curry joints that first introduced most of us to Siamese flavors. For one thing, many of these eateries focus on the food of Thailand's Northern and Northeastern regions, quite different from the Chinese-influenced stir-fries and noodle dishes that usually come to mind when we think of Thai food. Northern cuisine uses lots of dried spices and has notable Burmese influence. Meanwhile, Isaan, or Northeastern Thai food, bears strong resemblance to what's eaten in the bordering countries of Cambodia and Laos. In both regions, sticky rice rules. You've likely already tasted a number of the dishes below, which are happily now served at an increasing number of restaurants around the U.S. Read on for a primer on the regions' top dishes - and let us know if we missed any in the comments below.