Khao soi
Khao soi

10 Must-Try Northern Thailand Dishes

You'll work up an appetite just reading about these.

1. Khao soi. Northern Thailand’s version of khao soi (which is made differently in neighboring Laos and Myanmar) is an addictive dish of soft egg noodles and (traditionally) chicken leg in a creamy yellow curry, garnished with a nest of deep-fried crispy noodles.

2. Naam phrik ong. This punchy dip of blended pork, tomatoes, chili, and fermented shrimp and soybeans is usually served with steamed veggies and sticky rice.

3. Sai oua. Unlike any sausage you’ve ever tasted, this street snack is packed with lemongrass, galangal, chili, and zingy kaffir lime leaves.

4. Laab muu khua. Originating from Thailand’s northwestern Isaan province, this is a spicy “salad” of roughly chopped pork or chicken, mixed with lemongrass, chili, lime juice, fish sauce, dried spices, and cilantro.

5. Gaang hang lay. Usually made with slow-cooked melt-in-the-mouth pork belly, this fruity curry is loaded with ginger, tamarind, and turmeric but usually proves less spicy than better-known Thai curries.

6. Miang kham. Thailand’s variation on tacos are betel leaf–wrapped bites of varying flavor, be they sweet, spicy, sour, or salty.

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7. Jin tup. Beef that’s really been put through its paces, jin dup is marinaded, grilled, and then extensively tenderized before being served with a spicy dip.

8. Kanom jeen nam ngiao. This fresh and eclectic rice noodle dish traditionally consists of pig blood curd and pork balls in a light tomato broth, topped with bean sprouts and pork crackling.

9. Gaang khanun. Perhaps the least famous of all Thai curries, this is more of a hot-and-sour soup of pork chunks, unripe jackfruit, and cherry tomatoes.

10. Khao kan jin. This is a satisfying patty of minced pork, pork blood, and long-grain rice, steamed in a banana leaf and garnished with garlic oil.