This is an updated version of a recipe first published on May 9, 2006.
I was first introduced to chicken-asparagus soup in a Chinese restaurant in Caloocan City called Boy Ching Woo. Some twenty years ago, it was the only Chinese restaurant with decent food on the street where we lived. But since most of its customers were beer drinkers who enjoyed the Chinese dishes as pulutan, very rarely did we dine there. Most of the time, we ordered “to go”. Since it was only a five-minute walk from our old house, take out grub was almost as good as dining in. The distance was so short that the food did not have the chance to acquire the taste of packed food.
One of the items we often ordered was the chicken and asparagus soup. Boy Ching Woo’s chicken asparagus soup had canned asparagus spears; I make mine with fresh baby asparagus.
- entire back of a small chicken
250 g. of fresh baby asparagus, cut into 1-1/2 inch lengths
2 cloves of garlic
1 egg, beaten
patis (fish sauce) and pepper to taste
Boil the chicken with the half onion and garlic cloves in about eight cups of water for about 30 minutes.
Scoop out the chicken, cool, pick the meat and discard the bones.
Strain the broth to remove any impurities (you can leave the garlic and onion though).
Beat the egg.
Reheat the broth and bring to the boil. Add the chicken meat. Season with patis. Add the asparagus. Cook for a minute. Turn off the heat. Pour the beaten egg in a thin stream. Do not stir for about ten seconds to allow the egg to set partially. Then, stir. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot.
Cooking time (duration): 45 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 4