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Cooking Thai


A Fresh Approach to Thai Cooking

by (author) Angus An

foreword by David Thompson & Normand Laprise

Random House Canada
Initial publish date
Aug 2020
Thai, General, Individual Chefs & Restaurants
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2020
    List Price

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More than 100 flavor-driven Thai recipes built on technique, balance, tradition, and innovation from award-winning chef Angus An.

In Maenam, chef Angus An takes you on his ongoing journey of discovering Thai cuisine and shows how to blend traditional Thai flavors and cooking techniques with local, seasonal inspirations from the west coast. With Angus's foolproof instructions, Maenam offers the foundation to modern Thai cuisine for adventurous cooks of all skill levels. Filled with over 100 of his signature recipes, each meal balances robust, intense ingredients with his approach to Thai food's clear, sharp flavours. Transform your kitchen with snacks inspired by Thai street vendors, quick to prepare noodles and one-bowl meals, light- and full-bodied soups to have all year-round, flavorful and protein-filled salads, seasoned stir fries, killer curries, and refreshing desserts.
Named after Angus's first award-winning Vancouver Thai restaurant Maenam, the Thai word for "river," this cookbook is a celebration of Angus's inventive approach to Thai cuisine that is in many ways representative of a river's constant ever-replenishing flow. Just as a river continues its course around boulders and obstacles, Angus's ongoing evolution and path to becoming one of the most significant Thai chefs in North America is an unlikely one.
Angus grew up in Taiwan, moved to Canada when he was young, and trained at the French Culinary Institute. He fell in love with Thai cuisine when studying at Nahm under renowned chef and award-winning author, of Thai Food and Thai Street Food, David Thompson. He continues to travel to Thailand to eat, research, and learn. He takes his knowledge home, and finds innovative ways to root a traditional dish to the Pacific Northwest while accentuating each ingredient's flavor, aroma, and texture--all of which you will learn in this cookbook. With its beautiful design, incredible photography, and seasonal menus, Maenam offers a Thai culinary experience like no other.

About the authors

Angus An's profile page

David Thompson is a general building contractor who has lived in the Yukon Territory since 1962. His love for the land and its people has inspired him to write short stories describing life in the Yukon. He has twice won Dawson City’s “Authors on Eighth” writing contest for short fiction and has had stories published in local newspapers. David lives in Whitehorse with his wife Wendy, a Montessori teacher, two children Adam and Shawna, son-in-law Gary and two wonderful grandsons, Cameron and Jordon.

David Thompson's profile page

Normand Laprise's profile page

Excerpt: Maenam: A Fresh Approach to Thai Cooking (by (author) Angus An; foreword by David Thompson & Normand Laprise)

From the Introduction

Maenam. The Thai word for “river.” Literally translates to “mother water.” In Buddhism, water is the strongest of all of the elements, representing an ever-replenishing flow.

Thai food. Why Thai food? It’s a question I’m often asked. Thai food came to me serendipitously, and it might have been the happiest accident I’ve ever had. This book is about Thai cooking—more specifically, a modern interpretation of classical Thai cuisine.

My wife and business partner, Kate, chose Maenam as the name of our restaurant, and it immediately felt right. Water is the strongest of all the elements in Buddhist culture, the predominant religion in Thailand, and Maenam represents its constant, ever-replenishing flow. Just as a river continues its course around boulders and obstacles, the name mirrors our willingness to persist in the face of adversity and change, and my ongoing evolution as a chef.


I’ve opened four more restaurants in the last 10 years, and the success of each one encourages me to be bolder still with Maenam. I’ve stopped being restricted by expectations of authenticity. Using advances in culinary techniques and technology to cook a dish differently how it was prepared 100 years ago doesn’t make it less authentic—it just makes it more modern. I’ve made my peace with that realization, and now build Maenam’s menu on a foundation of traditional Thai flavors and classic recipes, elevating them with finesse and the very best west coast ingredients we can find to strongly reflect our current sense of place.

Now in our 10th year, I feel the name Maenam—beyond the strict meaning of the word—represents a moment of change. It will forever connect me to the serendipitous hot sour soup moment at Nahm that shifted my perspective on cooking Thai food. Each of the five Thai-related restaurants we now own is a result of the life-changing day I walked into Nahm, a celebration of just how far we’ve come.

Editorial Reviews

Advance Praise for Maenam

Maenam exudes freshness and flavor. Citrusy lemongrass and spicy Nahm Prik are almost palpable flicking through Angus An’s modern homage to Thai cooking. This is a sure inspiration for many meals to come.”
—Yotam Ottolenghi

“Chef Angus An's fresh, light and innovative approach to Thai cuisine is equally influenced by family and personal experiences, his mentor David Thompson's teachings, the ingredients of the great Pacific Northwest and his skill and background in French cooking technique. The result is a very appealing collection of recipes that, while appearing elevated and refined, are very approachable for the home cook. This handsome book will be a welcome addition to my collection and should be part of yours as well!”
—Andy Ricker, chef/owner of Pok Pok Restaurants

“Angus An’s elevation of Thai cuisine through aesthetic, intensity and high skill have made him a national treasure. This book is visually stunning and a study in one soul’s personal and original Thai cooking.”
—David McMillan, author and chef/co-owner of Joe Beef Restaurant Group

“Angus An’s Maenam is a useful and inspiring cookbook that shows how to create Thai dishes with fresh and local ingredients. Both home cooks and professional chefs can find dishes with layered and balanced flavors as well as exciting techniques. From street food to dessert recipes, it is a wonderful celebration of Thai cuisine, and a must-have cookbook for every kitchen.”
—Chef Susur Lee

“Angus takes iconic flavors of Thai cuisine and transforms them into creative, elegant, and absolutely gorgeous dishes. The perfect blend of traditional and modern, Maenam is a truly unique Thai cookbook.”
—Pailin Chongchitnant, author of Hot Thai Kitchen
“Chef Angus An’s influence on the Vancouver dining scene is immeasurable. He's just a great chef, no matter what kind of food he’s cooking, and has raised the culinary bar for everyone.”
—Joanne Sasvari, author of Vancouver Eats
"Now that Chef Angus An has given away some of his secrets in this new cookbook, we are able to enjoy delicious Thai food at home without having to order delivery."—BC Living

Other titles by David Thompson