Seafood Recipes - Asparagus & Crab Meat Soup (Mang Tay Nau Cua)

4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons nuoc mam (vietname; se fish sauce)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 ounces lump crab meat, picked over; and drained
1 freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot, mixed with
2 tablespoon cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten
15 oz white asparagus spears *
1 tablespoon 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 cookuntil tender, before adding the remaining ingredients).
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 fishsauce 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 untilthe 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 crabmeat 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.


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