Sup Mang Cua (Vietnamese Crab and Asparagus Soup)
When I was a kid, this very simple crab and asparagus soup indicated a special occasion: it was either someone’s birthday, we were having guests or both. On more common occasions, my mom and aunts substituted shredded chicken (dark meat, of course) for the more expensive crab.
Last week, I hosted a crabfest for some family and intentionally bought 12 dungeness crabs for 7 people. Hey, I’m feeding them, they can help me pick the leftovers! Heehee!
The soup as I know it uses canned asparagus–maybe this is the Vietnamese equivalent of the canned green beans Americans use for Thanksgiving that I find absolutely foul? I have no idea what else canned asparagus is used for, but the smooshy saltiness brings me straight back to Sundays at my grandparents’ house. I used green for the color and nostalgia. Others use white asparagus in a jar. I’m sure you can use fresh asparagus too if you want to be fancy. I also blast this with a shit ton of pepper–traditionally white pepper but black pepper works too.
Sup Mang Cua
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 14-15 oz can of asparagus (drained & cut into 1-inch pieces)
- meat from 1 steamed crab
- 2 eggs
- 1.5 Tbsps corn starch
- 1/2 cup water
- fish sauce, salt & pepper to taste
- In a separate bowl, crack the eggs and lightly beat them. Set aside.
- In another bowl, mix corn starch with water. Set aside.
- Bring broth to a boil and add crab meat and asparagus. Reduce to a simmer.
- While using a spoon to gently stir the soup, add the beaten egg.
- Add the corn starch mixture slowly until you get your desired consistency.
- Add fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
When you’re done, go for a walk. Hopefully your view is as stunning as mine: