Crab Asparagus Soup – Súp Măng Cua

My husband and little foodie chef enjoyed eating my version of crab asparagus soup (soup mang cua). 

Through trial and error, I have finally documented my own version of crab asparagus soup that my picky little foodie chef would enjoy.  She doesn’t like the traditional Vietnamese soup mang cua which normally has a seafood smell (mui tanh). I don’t like using imitation crab meat until I came across Publix’s premium imitation crab meat. Theirs tasted more like crab meat instead of some soy bean sticks sold at Asian markets. I guess you get what you pay for. 

Serving: I cook this recipe in a 5-quart pot. 
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 – 40 minutes


1 lb pork neck bones
16 oz blue crab meat
1/2 lb Publix’s premium imitation crab meat
2 dozens quail eggs (fresh or canned)
3 eggs + 3 egg whites
2 Tbsp salt (total)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bunch asparagus
1 10-oz bag frozen corn
3 scallions
1 shallot
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro (1 cup)
8 Tbsp cornstarch in 3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp oil
3 Liter water (about 3 quart)
*enoki mushrooms (optional)

Since moving to Florida, I started using fresh quail eggs over canned quail eggs because it was abundant at every Asian markets. If you never ate fresh quail eggs before, think of it as little mini size chicken eggs that you can pop in your mouth one at a time.  It’s delicious! The market were sold out of quail eggs so I had to substitute with canned quail eggs for this visual pictorial demonstration. 



1.  Empty the liquid in the canned quail eggs or boil the fresh quail eggs for three minutes.  Beat the eggs and egg whites together. Shred the imitation crab meat. 

2.  Season the lump crab meat with a pinch of salt, black pepper, and ginger powder.  Cut the asparagus stems into thin round pieces (rondelle cut). Reserve the top 3 inches of the stems for something else.  I don’t use the tips because it makes the soup green and unattractive. Thickness of asparagus cuts are about 2 nickels put together. 


3.  In a 5-quart pot, heat up 2 tablespoon of oil. Pan sear the crab meat with the garlic, scallion, and shallots mixture on high heat for about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl. 

2.  Fill the pot with TWO quarts of water. Put the pork neck bones in and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes on medium high.

3.  Discard the scum until broth looks clear. 

4.  Make the seasoning mixture with 2 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp ginger powder, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.

5.  Add the chopped asparagus and seasoning mixture into the pot. Cook on steady boil for another ten minutes. 

6.  After cooking the broth for about 30 minutes, take the pork neck bones out. 

7.  Add in ONE quart of water, the corn, and the quail eggs. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

8.  Add in the imitation crab and lump crab meat. 

9.  Bring soup to a light boil.  Then stream in the beaten eggs and/or egg whites. Stir the soup while you drizzle the eggs in.

10.  Add in the corn starch mixture until desired thickness. 

11.  Bring to a boil.  Add in the cilantro. Turn off stove.   Serve and enjoy! 

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