Cooking demonstration and recipes

It is well known that “love goes through the stomach”. And this of course also applies to our traditional Thai dishes we offer to our guests at the cooking demonstration and our buffet.

As part of our evening program, we introduce the secrets of the traditional Thai kitchen at our cooking demonstration. One of our guides explains the preparation of one famous Thai dish to the guests every evening, while one of our experienced chefs follows the instructions simultaneously.

To be able to enjoy at least a bit of our Thai dishes at home as well, we have prepared the recipes of the most favorite dishes of our guest’s, so that they can cooked each time when feeling like having an amazing Thai culinary delight.

Elephant Hills traditional Thai kitchen recipes for trying out at home

Som Tam – Thai Green Papaya Salad

Prep time: About 30 minutes or less – no cooking is involved
Recipe size: 1 big plate

Thai green papaya salad, known as som tam in Thai, is one of the most commonly available and consumed dishes in Thailand. It originates in the northeastern part of the country (Isaan), but nowadays you’ll find it everywhere from Chiang Rai to Krabi. Throughout cities in Thailand, green papaya salad is one of the staples of street food cooking and dining. It’s healthy and easy to prepare, and has a really fresh taste.

Ingredients needed

  • ½ green papaya (if not available substitute either with apples or a cucumber)
  • ½ carrot
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 clove of garlic
  • 2 green bean or 1 Chinese long beans
  • 2 red and green chilies (optional to add more)
  • 1 tsp of fish sauce or soy sauce (vegetarian option and depending on taste preferences)
  • 4 tsp of fresh lime juice
  • 1-2 tsp of brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 2 tsp of roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp of small dried shrimps (optional)

Equipment needed

  • Mortar, Bowl or something similar
  • Grater
  • Knife
  • Tea spoon (tsp)
  • Cutting board
  • Plate


  1. First of all peel both the green papaya and the carrot and grate them afterwards into thin slices. Cut the green bean and the tomato into slices. Then put aside.
  2. Put the chilies and the garlic into the mortar and grind them up to receive full flavor.
  3. Add brown/palm sugar, lime juice, fish/soy sauce and a small hand of roasted peanuts and keep on grinding them up.
  4. Mix in the tomato
  5. Add the shredded green papaya, carrot and sliced green bean into the mortar and mix it for around 30 seconds.
  6. Add the dried shrimps and mix it
  7. Next step: Taste test. Depending on your own preferences of sour, salty, sweet or spicy taste you can either add more lime juice, fish/soy sauce, sugar or chilies.
  8. Grab a plate and put the papaya salad on it. Some more peanuts on top and here you go…

Enjoy your delicious Som Tam!!

Kaeng Kai Subparod – Thai Chicken Curry with Pineapple

Recipe size: 4 servings

This chicken curry pineapple recipe from Thailand uses dry roasted spices and fresh ingredients to make an aromatic curry paste. You may make the curry paste from scratch or simply used ready-made curry paste like Mae Ploy, Mae Sri or Nittaya brand. Refrigerate any leftover paste in a zip lock bag. It will keep for at least a month.

 Equipment needed:

  • Food processor
  • Bowl
  • Knife
  • Tea spoon (tsp)
  • Cutting board
  • Pan or Pot
  • Cooking spoon


Red Thai Curry Paste (Krung Kaeng Phed)


  • 4-5 dried red chilies
  • 2 small brown onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp./5 ml peppercorns (about 68)
  • 2 tsp./10 ml ground cumin (2 ½ tsp./12 ml whole)
  • 1 tsp./15 ml ground coriander (1 ½ tbsp./22.5 ml whole seeds)
  • 2 tbsp./30 ml fresh cilantro chopped (including the stems and roots)
  • 1 tsp./5 ml salt
  • 2 tsp./10 ml finely chopped lemon or lime peel
  • 1 tsp./5 ml lemon grass powder
  • 1 tsp/5 ml ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp./2-3 cloves, chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp./10 ml shrimp paste (Subs. 2 tbsp./30 ml fish sauce)
  • 1 tbsp./15 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp./5 ml turmeric
  • 2 tsp./10 ml paprika (only for color)


Kaeng Kai Subparod – Thai Chicken Curry with Pineapple

Recipe size: 2-3 servings


  • 2 chicken breast
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, bite-size pieces
  • half a cup of bamboo shoots
  • 12 red cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs red curry paste (my recipe can be found here)
  • 1 Tbs grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 Tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar ( if using canned pineapple omit)
  • ½ cup chicken broth (vegetarians can use vegetable)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 red chile pepper, sliced , extra spicy optional
  • fresh cilantro or basil leaves to garnish, optional


  1. In separate cutting boards dice the pineapple and chicken into thick bite size pieces.
  2. In a large pan or wok warm up oil, then add the chicken and cook all the way through.
  3. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for a few minutes then add the curry paste stir to combine with chicken.
  4. Add the chicken broth, sugar, turmeric, bamboo shoots and fish sauce. Add this point you can also add the extra chili pepper if your using it. Under medium heat cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the coconut milk and stir, next add the cherry tomatoes and pineapple, cook for another 5-8 minutes at which point the tomatoes should be soft. (The coconut milk is added toward the end to prevent curdling.)
  6. When serving you can add a couple of fresh basil or cilantro leaves for decoration. Serve with steamed white rice. Makes great leftovers, that’s if you have any left.

Stir-fried Rice Noodles (Pad Thai or Phad Thai)

Recipe size: 3 servings

Pad Thai, phat Thai or phad Thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and actually in each Thai restaurant all around Thailand. It is made with soaked dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu. It can be combined with chicken, pork, beef, and/or shrimps or just with tofu for vegetarians.

Equipment needed

  • Knife
  • Tea spoon (tsp)
  • Cutting board
  • Bowl
  • Wok or pan
  • 2nd pan
  • Cooking spoon
  • Sieve

Ingredients with chicken

  • 250 g of thin Thai-style rice noodles
  • 120 g chicken breast (optional other meat), sliced
  • 10 g dried shrimps (recommendable but optional)
  • 3-4 tsp palm oil (vegetable oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 6 tsp fish or soy sauce
  • 1-2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 2 steams of spring onions (green), sliced
  • 1 cup fresh coriander
  • 1/3 cup crushed or roughly chopped peanuts (or other nuts, such as cashews)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 100 g tofu
  • Black pepper and optional a pinch of salt


  • ¼ cup tamarind paste (Asian shop)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1-2 tsp brown sugar (more or less to taste)


  • Lime
  • Small hand of peanuts or cashews
  • Chili sauce (Nam Prik Pao if available)


  1. Place noodles in a large bowl; pour hot water over to cover. Let the noodles soak until tender but not mushy, 5-10 minutes. Note: you will be frying the noodles later, so you don’t want to over-soften them now. Noodles are ready to be drained when they are soft enough to be eaten, but are still firm and a little “crunchy”. Drain and set aside.
    While the noodles soak prepare the other ingredients:
  2. Cut the tofu into really small cubes and put aside
  3. Make the Pad Thai Sauce by combining the tamarind paste and the water and boil it shortly. Mix with sugar. Then sieve the sauce to receive a clear tamarind sauce. Set aside. Note: add more sugar if needed to balance out the sourness of the tamarind – this balance is what makes Pad Thai taste so amazing!
  4. Cut chicken into slices, put it in a bowl and pour over the tamarind marinade. Stir well and set aside.
  5. Warm up a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 3-4 tsp oil plus garlic and minced chili, if using. Stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds).
  6. Add the marinated chicken and keep on stir-frying. As soon as the wok/pan becomes dry, add a little chicken stock, 2-3 tsp at a time, to keep the chicken frying nicely. Continue stir-frying in this way until the chicken is cooked (5-8 minutes).
  7. Heat the second pan, add a little bit of oil and fry the tofu cubes until they are slightly golden-brown and put aside.
  8. Add the noodles. Use two spatulas, wooden spoons, or other utensils, and immediately stir-fry the noodles. Use a gentle “lift and turn” method (like tossing a salad) to prevent noodles from breaking. Stir-fry in this way 1-2 minutes. If you find your wok/frying pan too dry, push noodles aside and add a little more oil to the bottom (but no more broth, or the noodles will become soggy).
  9. Break the eggs above and mix it in the fried-noodles.
  10. Add the bean sprouts, spring onions, dried shrimps and pepper and stir all together for 1 more minute. Add golden-brown tofu cubes. Noodles are done to perfection when they are no longer “hard” or crunchy, but chewy-sticky wonderful!
  11. Taste-test for seasoning, adding more fish or soy sauce until desired flavor is reached (we usually add at least 1-2 more tsp fish sauce). Toss well to incorporate.
  12. Lift noodles onto a serving plate. Top with generous amounts of fresh coriander and crushed/chopped nuts. Add fresh lime wedges (lime is great squeezed overtop), and if desired, serve with Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce on the side.

Enjoy your very tasty Pad Thai!