Crab & Asparagus Soup
If you pick your own meat from crabs for this recipe (rather than buying ready picked crabmeat), reserve the shells and boil them in the stock for 15 minutes for added flavour, crushing occasionally with a kitchen mallet; then strain thoroughly through a muslin-lined sieve.
Serves 6 as an entrée
10 spears green asparagus, trimmed, sliced on the diagonal (see notes)
1.5 litres chicken stock
½ teaspoon finely grated ginger
3 green onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons arrowroot, made into a paste with 2 tablespoons water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
300g raw crabmeat (see notes)
Salt flakes and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Slice asparagus tips in half lengthways. Place stock in a saucepan, with ginger and asparagus. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until asparagus is just tender.
Add green onions, sesame oil and arrowroot paste, increase heat and stir until soup thickens. Reduce heat, stir in crabmeat then drizzle in egg, stirring slowly so that it forms thin ribbons through the soup. Taste, add salt and pepper and serve.
If asparagus is thick and woody, discard the woody bottom section and peel the spears with a potato peeler. Pick meat from 1 x 1.2kg cooked mud crab, 3 x 300g cooked blue swimmer crabs or 3 x 400g spanner crabs. Alternatively, buy good quality frozen Australian crabmeat such as Ceas (Queensland spanner crabs); check it carefully for any remaining bits of cartilage or shell and drain it well. Be aware that most other frozen crabmeat is imported and can be quite watery when thawed. If raw crabmeat is unavailable, use cooked, stirring it through at the very last minute so that it doesn’t overcook.
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