Asparagus Soup with Mud Crab (Súp Măng cua)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 shallots, peeled, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ L chicken stock
- 3 cm knob ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
- 500g fresh white asparagus, peeled, woody ends discarded, cut on the 3-4cm long diagonal pieces
- 500-700g mud crab meats
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
- Fish sauce to taste
- White pepper powder to taste
- 2-3 tbsp Japanese potato starch dissolved in 2-3 tbsp chicken stock
- Sugar to taste
- 8 quail eggs, boiled, peeled
- 2 tbsp spring onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp coriander, thinly sliced
1. In the deep saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and ginger, sauté until soft and fragrant. Add the stock and bring to boil over high heat.
2. Add the asparagus and cook uncovered for 8 minutes. Discard the ginger.
3. Add the crab meat and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lightly season with salt. Beat egg and yolk with fish sauce and white pepper powder, set aside.
4. Give the starch mixture a stir and slowly pour it into the soup with your hand as your stir the soup with the other. Continue stirring for about 1 minute, or until the soup is a thick silky texture. Turn off the heat.
5. Pour the beaten egg onto the soup in a wide circle, then stir gently to break it up into chiffon-like pieces. Season to taste with extra salt, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper as needed. Let the soup rest for 1 hour to further develop the flavor.
6. To serve, reheat the soup over medium heat. Add quail eggs. Ladle into individual soup bowls. Top with spring onion, coriander, and white pepper powder. Serve immediately.