Michelin guide ready to rate Thailand’s fiery Isan cuisine

Different regions in Thailand offer their unique taste of food. The northeastern “Isan” is another option to experience. The key characteristics of Isan dishes are dry, spicy, and use fermented fish to add the saltiness. The famous “Som Tum” (papaya salad) is also among popular Isan cuisine.

Now, Michelin will rate restaurants in four Isan provinces for the first-time in its 2023 guidebook for Thailand.

Michelin’s next guide, its sixth for the Kingdom, will evaluate and review restaurants in Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani and Khon Kaen, some of the largest provinces in the northeast. Michelin Guide International Director Gwendal Poullennec said that their inspectors had been impressed with the flavorful and distinctive Isan cuisine, as it employs simple cooking methods yet delivers subtle and complex flavor profiles.

“Many Isan-born chefs are playing a significant role in elevating Isan food to the next level, using local ingredients combined with their superior cooking skills, setting a new standard for more high-quality local food,” he added.

“This is a great sign that the northeastern region of Thailand will soon be an even more attractive tourist destination for local gastronomy, contributing to a good economy for local communities and markets,” said Poullennec.

Over time, Isan culture and cuisine have turned more in vogue, while Isan restaurants in the capital and other parts of Thailand have also become larger in number and fashionable.

“Thailand’s Northeastern region has vast potential – in terms of culinary culture and history, diverse tourist attractions, as well as charming local lifestyle,” Poullennec believed. “Moreover, the Northeastern region has a lot of outstanding local food and handicraft products, with more than 34 registered Geographical Indication items to look out for when shopping for souvenirs.”

Photo courtesy of https://guide.michelin.com/th/en/article/news-and-views/