The cuisine of the North East region of Thailand has a style, flavour and preparation methods all its own. This culinary region of Thailand is known to the locals as ‘I-San’ and is clearly influenced by the flavours of nearby Laos. Of all the regions of Thailand that are considered as special for their culinary specialities, the North East region is probably the least well known as well as one of the most fascinating.
“I-San food takes cooking with herbs and spices… to wonderful extremes of taste”
Highly flavoured, well seasoned and exciting on the palate, I-San food takes cooking with herbs and spices to wonderful extremes of taste. The influence of neighbouring Laos is evident in a number of the dishes cooked in homes and restaurants here and just like those in Northern Thailand, it is glutinous rice that is preferred over fragrant rice and is even used in sweet dishes. Visitors to North East Thailand will find a wonderful choice of freshwater fish and shrimp that are very popular and even served after being fermented.
Thai dishes that are both popular and particular to the culinary region of North East Thailand include:
– Som Tam: a refreshing and simple green papaya salad
– Lap: beautifully spiced minced meat or chicken salad with an array of flavours
– Kai Yang: surprisingly flavourful for something so simple to prepare, barbecued chicken