Asparagus and Crab Meat Soup (Mang Tay Nau Cua)

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Title: Asparagus and Crab Meat Soup (Mang Tay Nau Cua)
Yield: 1 Servings
Categories: Vietnamese, Soups


4 c Chicken broth
1 tb Plus 2 teaspoons nuoc mam
-(Vietnamese fish sauce)
1/2 ts Sugar
1/4 ts Salt
1 tb Vegetable oil
6 Shallots, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, chopped
8 Ounces lump crab meat,
-picked over and drained
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tb Cornstarch or arrowroot,
-mixed with
2 tb Cold water
1 Egg, lightly beaten
15 oz White asparagus spears *
1 tb Shredded coriander
1 Scallion, thinly sliced

* cut into 1-inch sections with canning liquid reserved

This soup was probably created by some homesick Frenchman. White
asparagus (a French import), packed in jars or cans, is used for this
recipe. Traditionally, crumbled, salted duck egg yolk is added to
season the soup.

If white asparagus is unavailable, use frozen or fresh asparagus (in
this case, add the fresh asparagus to the broth from the very
beginning and cook until tender, before adding the remaining

Combine the broth, 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, the sugar and salt
in a 3 quart soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the shallots and garlic and
stir-fry until aromatic. Add the crab meat, the remaining 2
teaspoons fish sauce and black pepper to taste. Stirfry over high
heat for 1 minute. Set aside.

Bring the soup to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir gently
until the soup thickens and is clear. While the soup is actively
boiling, add the egg and stir gently. Continue to stir for about 1
minute. Add the crab meat mixture and asparagus with its canning
liquid; cook gently until heated through.

Transfer the soup to a heated tureen. Sprinkle on the coriander,
scallion and freshly ground black pepper.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

From "The Foods of Vietnam" by Nicole Rauthier. Stewart, Tabori &
Chang. 1989.

Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; May 24 1993.