Friday, October 7, 2011

Sup Mang Cua - Vietnamese Crab and Asparagus Soup

Sup Mang Cua
Finally I've made sup mang cua. Usually sup mang cua is reserved for special occasions like New years, weddings, or birthdays. This soup is like a special soup, so Vietnamese people don't really make it on any regular day, unless their craving for it. Like me, I will not suppress my craving for this soup until a special day arise. So I just make the soup and indulge myself.
Here is my easy sup mang cua recipe. I hope you'll give it a try and post a comment on my blog.


3 Cups water
3 Cups chicken broth
4 Cups crab meat
2 Cups white asparagus
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup corn starch
White pepper powder
Salt to taste


1 - Prepare the asparagus by cutting the end part of the asparagus and discard it. Cut asparagus into ½ inch lengthwise. Set aside.
2 - In a large pot combine water and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Stir in crab meat and asparagus. Cook until asparagus is nice and tender, then add 3 pinches of white pepper powder. Stir pot and reduce to low heat.
3 - In a small bowl add corn starch, and stir in some cold water to dilute the corn starch before adding into pot.
4 - Slowly add the corn starch mixture into the soup. Make sure to add a little bit at a time and continuously stir the soup for a minute or two.
5 - In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs then slowly add mixture into pot. Vigorously stir soup, so the egg doesn’t clumps. Increase heat to medium high. Allow soup to cook for another 5-6 minutes, then remove from heat and serve hot.
6 - For a thicker soup just add more corn starch mixed with water.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rau Cau Dua - Vietnamese Coconut Agar Agar Jelly

Rau Cau Dua
Rau Cau is a vegetarian friendly dessert because it's made using agar agar, a type of seaweed. By itself agar agar doesn't have any flavor or taste, but combining it with other ingredients it will create the best tasting dessert you have ever tasted. And the best part is that you can create many different types of dessert using this seaweed. Not to mention that it's good for you.

Ok, so to make coconut rau cau you will need water, agar agar powder or you can use the dried agar agar seaweed. I prefer to use the powder because I think it's more convenient.
granulated sugar, and coconut milk.


1-1/2 Qrt cold water
1 Bag of agar agar powder
1 Canned coconut milk
1 Cup granulated sugar


You can choose to skip this step and pour the coconut milk directly into the jelly mixture or you can heat up the coconut milk before use. As for me I prefer to cook the coconut milk a little before i use it.
1 - Emptied the canned coconut milk into a sauce pan and bring to a boil on low heat. Remove from heat when you see constant bubbles, and set aside.
2 - Add cold water into a large pot, stir in sugar and agar agar powder.
3 - Stir until all mixture is completely dissolved, then on high heat bring the mixture to a boil, but DO NOT stop stirring until mixture is fully boiling. Remove from heat.
4 - Pour mixture into a mould or into any cake pan.

Here is the tricky part. If you pour the coconut milk in to the jelly mixture too early, the coconut milk will rise to the top leaving the bottom half of the jelly transparent. It means that you will have two layer in the jelly, top solid white and bottom clear. Appearance wise it looks nice, but taste wise not so great. The bottom half won't taste so bad, but I can't say the same for the top layer. And if you wait too long to pour in the coconut milk, the jelly mixture might not combine with the coconut milk at all.

To achieve the best result, so there's no separation in the jelly. You would have to wait until the jelly is about to set then pour in the coconut milk, and stir constantly until the jelly mixture and the coconut milk combined. Then quickly put the jelly in the refrigerator for atleast 2 hours before serving.
How to tell when jelly is about to set, by dipping your finger into the mixture, and if you puncture a thin layer forming on top that means it's about ready to set.