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Northern Thai food differs significantly from that of other regions of Thailand. With its strong Burmese influences, and especially when compared to Northeastern (Isaan) cuisine and its high levels of chilli and spice, Northern Thai cuisine is comparatively mellow.
Northern Thai food is traditionally served on a Khan Toke (small round table), which diners gather around to share the meal. A preference for sticky, glutinous rice, over regular white rice eaten in other parts of Thailand, is characteristic here. The rice is rolled into balls and used to soak up dips and sauces, such as green mango dip with seafood, fish and fresh vegetables (nam prik ma-muang), peanut sauce (nam jim satay), pickled fish dipping sauce (nam prik pla-raa), and the very common Northern-style chilli dip served with dried shredded pork and freshly cooked vegetables (nam pla prik). Seasoned minced meat and a fragrant salad traditionally accompany the sauces and rice.
While not as prevalent as other Thai regional cuisines out there, Northern Thai food well worth tracking down. When you do come across it, you’ll want to know what to order. So to help you out, we’ve listed some of our favourite Northern Thai dishes.