I have hundreds of cookbooks. One cookbook that’s has been sitting on my shelf , but I have never really cooked out off is Martin Yan’s, Quick And Easy. I grew up watching Yan Can Cook on PBS and it was he, in his thick accent, and comical nature, that taught me some basics of Asian Cooking and that I cold do it at home. So naturally the other day when craving an Asian Style coup, I reached for this long forgotten copy. I altered Martin’s recipe a bit as I did not have fresh Crab. I had a can of crab that I had purchased form Aldi. I’m really into the lower priced value chain of Aldi right now and how found some great Fresh produce, dairy , and cheeses.Its a revelation to a picky shopper like me and I’m loving their expansion here in the US. Don’t be a snob, check it out for some surprising finds. I also stock up on other items there to use for my lunches , and canned crab has always been a thing I like throw into a quick pasta salad for some flavor. Its great in a pinch. I also had some dried shrimp form the Asian Market. These dried ,salted tiny shrimps can be grounded into a powder , or soaked whole and are used in soups and other dishes by not Asians, but Latin , and Africans. When you want some great flavor , toss a few of these into your next rice dish or soup.
So taking Martin Yan’s Crab and Asparagus Soup, inspired by the French ingredients in Vietnamese cooking, I changed it to Crab , Shrimp, and Asparagus Soup using pantry items, and this gorgeous Asparagus in my Organic Box. Martin uses both white and Green Asparagus, but I doubled my green asparagus. This is really a quick and easy soup that’s perfect for a light Spring Lunch.I found myself eating two bowls of it, its that good.
adapted from Martin Yan Quick and Easy
1 1/2 lbs of fresh asparagus
1/2 cup dried shrimp( found in Asian/ Latin markets ) soaked in boiling water and drained
1 tbs of vegetable oil
2 green onions
1 tsp minced ginger
5 cups chicken stock
1 can crab meat or 1/2 pound fresh crab meat
3 tbs soy sauce
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs water to dissolve cornstarch in
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
Soak the dried shrimp in boiling water ( until covered) for 209 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Remove the tough ends of asparagus stalks and chop asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces.
Blanch the asparagus in rapidly boiling water for a few minutes until tender. Remove, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside and pick some tips to reserve for garnish.
In the same pot used to boil asparagus, heat the oil on medium high. Add green onions and ginger and stir while cooking for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add Chicken stock, asparagus,dried shrimp, crab meat, soy sauce,and pepper and bring to boil. Add cornstarch dissolved in water, mix in , and wait until it reached boil again, and thickens slightly.This will take about 1 minute.Remove from heat and gently add in beaten egg, and stir into soup to make egg flowers.
Serve with cilantro and asparagus tip garnish.