Saturday, September 13, 2008

Asparagus And Crab Meat Soup


4 cups broth
1 tablespoon nuoc mam PLUS means this ingredient in addition to the one on the next line, often with divided uses

2 teaspoons nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce), divided
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 ounces lump crab meat, picked over, drained
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot mixed with
2 tablespoons cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounce size) white asparagus spears, cut in 1 inch pieces, liquid reserved
1 tablespoon shredded coriander
1 scallion, thinly sliced


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. Stir-fry 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.

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