Asparagus and Crabmeat Soup


  • 960 ml (4 cups) (1 3/4 pints) Chicken broth
  • 25 ml Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese fish sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 6 Shallots (chopped)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (chopped)
  • 250 g  (9 oz) Crabmeat
  • 1 Egg (lightly beaten)
  • 425 g (15 oz) White asparagus spears (cut into 2 1/2 cm (1 in) sections with canning liquid reserved)
  • 15 g (1/2 oz) Coriander (cilantro) leaves, shredded
  • 1 Green onion (scallion), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper


Mix together :
  1. 2 tablespoon Cornstarch or arrowroot
  2. 2 tablespoon Cold water
  3. 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 ingredients). 
  4. Combine the broth, 1 tablespoon/15 ml of the fish sauce, the sugar, and salt in the 3 quarter/5 1/4 pint soup pot or Dutch oven. 
  5. bring to a boil. reduce the heat and simmer. 
  6. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the shallots and garlic and stir-fry until aromatic. 
  7. Add the crabmeat, the remaining 2 teaspoon/10 ml fish sauce, and black pepper to taste. 
  8. Stir-fry over high heat for 1 minute. Set aside. 
  9. Bring the soup to a boil. 
  10. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir gently until the soup thickens and is clear. 
  11. While the soup is actively boiling, add the egg and stir gently.Continue to stir for about 1 minute. 
  12. Add the crabmeat mixture and asparagus with its canning liquid; cook gently until heated through. 
  13. Transfer the soup to a heated tureen. Sprinkle with the coriander, green onion (scallion), and freshly ground black pepper.