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Crab and Asparagus Soup

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 20 min
Let stand 5 min

Cook Time: 20-25 min

Servings: 6

Recipe By: Belinda Hulin

From:  Knack Chinese Cooking
Used with permission of Knack

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Crab and Asparagus Soup

In the weeks when spring and summer meet, this soup celebrates the seasonal bounty. Delicate lumps of sweet blue crabmeat work best in this soup, although the shell-free meat of any edible crab can be used. The only absolute is this: Do not use any form of imitation crab meat or surimi to make this soup. The texture will suffer, and the artificial taste of the surimi will overpower the fresh asparagus.

1/2 pound fresh asparagus
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger root
1  leek, trimmed and sliced
6 cups chicken broth or broth made with chicken broth powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoonscold water
1  egg, beaten
1/2 pound lump crabmeat
 salt to taste
 white pepper, to taste
 minced chives for garnish
Asparagus stalks tend to get stringy and toughen as they cook, while the tips soften to the point of breaking. That's why, when asparagus is going to simmer in a sauce or soup, it's important to slice the stalks to break long fibers. Rinse asparagus well. Snap off the fibrous ends at the point where the green fades to beige. Slice spears diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces. Leave tips intact. Add to soup as directed.

Stir-fry asparagus in oil 15 seconds. Add ginger and leek; stir-fry 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 8 minutes.

Increase heat and, when soup is bubbling, add cornstarch mixture and stir. When soup begins to thicken, add beaten egg while stirring constantly. When egg forms ribbons, remove from heat.

Add crabmeat, salt and pepper. Let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with chives and serve.

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