Thailand is a country with an incredibly diverse variation of regional dishes. At Thai restaurants outside Thailand, the food is often lumped into a single category: Thai cuisine. In Thailand however, you'll find that food at restaurants is often grouped by region, many restaurants only serving food from one particular region of Thai cuisine. While there are countless variations of Thai food by region, there are four main categories; Isaan northeastern, Lanna northern, Bangkok central, and southern Thai.
Isaan food, also known as the cuisine originating from the northeastern region of Thailand, is one of the most popular and widely consumed varieties of food in the entire country. Sticky rice, which is steamed and is much more glutinous than regular jasmine rice, is the main staple grain in Isaan. This variation of Thai cuisine includes lots of fresh vegetable & meat salads, as well as meat and fish often roasted over charcoal. Some popular examples include somtam, a combination of shredded green papaya, tomatoes, peanuts, chilies, garlic, fish sauce, fermented fish sauce (optional), lime juice, and palm sugar; kaw moo yang, grilled pork neck that’s sliced into bite sized pieces and served with a chili dipping sauce; larb moo, a salad of minced pork in a dressing of lime juice and chilies; and tom sap, a hot and sour soup.