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Sup Mang Cua in a bowl
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5 from 6 votes

Sup Mang Cua (Vietnamese Crab and Asparagus Soup)

Sup Mang Cua is a soup is always the star of the party. Thick and fragrant, it's loaded with toppings EASILY found in supermarkets!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Stock Making Time3 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Servings: 10
Calories: 387kcal
Author: Jeannette


  • Sieve


For The Broth

  • 6 L / 25 US cup chicken and pork stock
  • 50 g / 0.11 lb rehydrated scallops
  • 1 onion (outer layer removed and cut in half)
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tsp sugar (or to taste)
  • starch slurry (10 tbsp potato starch mixed with 20 tbsp water)

For The Toppings

  • 200 g / 0.44 lb chicken breast
  • 2 corns
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 can bamboo shoots (cut intp strips)
  • 1 can quail eggs
  • 30 g / 0.07 lb rehydrated shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 red shallot (thinly sliced)
  • 500 g / 1.1 lb frozen crab meat (or fresh)
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • coriander (for garnishing)


  • Bring the stock to a boil and cook the chicken breast, dried scallops, coriander root, onion and corn with the stock for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Take the chicken and corn out to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Shred the chicken into thin strips.
    Tip: Use two forks to pull the meat apart or let it cool completely and use your fingers.
  • Remove the corn kernels from the cob by running a knife from one end to the other. Set the kernels aside for later.
  • Wash then chop the carrots into 1cm x 1cm (0.4" x 0.4") cubes and the asparagus into 3cm (1.2") segments. Leave them in a bowl to be used in the broth.
  • Thinly slice the shiitake mushrooms and bring the stock to a boil.
  • Wash and drain the quail eggs and bamboo shoots, then add them into the soup along with the corn, shiitake mushrooms, carrots and asparagus. Season with the sugar, salt, pepper and fish sauce.
  • In a new saucepan, pour the oil onto a surface on medium heat and add the red shallots in to brown for 2 minutes.
  • Add the crab meat in and season with 1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder and 1 tsp pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until cooked, then pour it into the soup pot.
  • Turn the soup pot heat to medium and pour the starch slurry in while slowly stirring until it reaches your preferred consistency.
    Note: Make sure to mix the starch and water well until it becomes a liquid before pouring it in, otherwise you'll end up with clumps. You can add more starch slurry or use less depending on how thick you like the soup.
  • Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks.
  • Turn the heat to low and pour the egg whites through a sieve while continuously stirring. Repeat with the yolks.
  • Let the soup simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot as is, garnished with coriander and pepper!


  • Add the asparagus in last. It cooks rather quickly compared to the other ingredients, so unless you want a mushier texture, put them in towards the end.
  • Use fresh crab. Frozen seafood is cheaper and more convenient, but you can never replace the natural sweetness found in fresh food.
  • Shred the chicken finely. If you keep the breast more like chunks, the drinking experience would end up being focused more on the chicken rather than the soup itself.
  • The dried scallops can be found in Asian supermarkets in the dried goods section, but if it's unavailable then it can be left out.
  • We used washed coriander root for the base broth, which is roughly 5cm (2") from the base of the coriander to the middle.
  • This recipe uses canned versions of the quail eggs and bamboo shoots simply because it's easier, but you can certainly buy the fresh version instead. Asparagus also comes in cans if you prefer to use that.
  • How much you put of each ingredient really depends on what you like. If you like it meatier, add more toppings. If you prefer more soup, use less.
  • Depending on your budget and personal preference, you might decide to use frozen crab meat like we did or opt for fresh ones instead. Make sure that if you're using fresh crab, it's steamed before being stir fried.


Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 3110mg | Potassium: 1103mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 3505IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3mg