The French introduced asparagus to Vietnam; the Vietnamese call it ‘Western Bamboo’
In a large pan, bring the stock, sugar and most of the fish sauce to a boil. Season with salt and simmer for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil and stir-fry the garlic and shallots for about 5 minutes, until they are soft. Lift out, drain and add to the stock together with the remaining fish sauce and black pepper to season. Bring it to the boil, then lower the heat and add the egg. Stir gently and cook for a minute.
Pop in the crabmeat and the asparagus with a little of its cooking liquid. Cook gently until thoroughly warmed. Sprinkle with coriander and/or spring onion, and a twist of black pepper.
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