Food For Four

Súp Măng Cua – Vietnamese Asparagus and Crab Soup

Posted on | November 5, 2013 | Vietnamese Recipes | No Comments

Vietnamese crab and asparagus soup

Asparagus are in season at the moment. I always like to take advantage of fresh produce when they are cheap. But I think I may have gone a bit overboard with these sweet fresh asparagus as we have been eating every week and the kids are frowning at the sight of another asparagus.

Asparagus is not an ingredient commonly found in Vietnamese cuisine, but the use of asparagus in this soup is influenced by the French. This asparagus and crab soup is very delicate in flavour and such a simple dish to make. Usually this dish is reserved for special occasion because of the use of expensive crab meat and the rare asparagus in Vietnam. Canned asparagus is usually used in making this soup, but I always prefer fresh asparagus to canned as the ones the canned asparagus is too mushy for my liking. Fresh asparagus is much sweeter. You can also add other ingredients like baby corn, quail eggs, shiitake mushrooms to this dish. But don’t add too many fillings as it can overshadow the delicate flavours of this soup. This soup usually has a thick texture but my children does not like thick soup and I have omitted the use of cornstarch. Also I highly recommend using homemade stock for this delicious soup.

sup mang cua

Crab and Asparagus Soup

Serves 4 – 6 small bowls


1.5 litres of chicken soup
250g fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut into 2inch pieces
2 eggs
150g crab meat
3 sprigs coriander, roughly sliced
2 spring onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
ground white pepper


In a medium saucepan, add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the fresh asparagus and lower the heat and cook for until soft (around 10 minutes). Add the crab meat to the soup and stir gently. Taste and season the soup with salt and pinch of sugar. If you like a thick soup then add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Continue to stir until the soup is thickened. Bring the soup to a boil and swirl the soup in a circular motion. Slowly add the beaten egg in the soup and continue to stir in a circular motion. Remove from heat.

To serve, ladle the hot soup into small bowls, add some white pepper, and garnish with chopped coriander and sliced spring onion.

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