Some Vietnamese Dishes clearly demonstrate the influence that the French had on local food. Vietnamese Crab and Corn Soup (Súp cua ngô non) is one of them. Although crab is eaten all over Vietnam (mostly freshwater crabs), corn wasn’t eaten in Vietnam until the French introduced it. This soup demonstrates the intermingling of the two food cultures: using an ingredient common in Vietnamese Food, the crab, but presenting it in a European way, as a light first-course soup rather than a meal-in-a-bowl noodle soup. You can use any kind of crab here. In our restaurants, we use Dungeness, which is plentiful and locally caught. Vietnamese Crab and Corn Soup (Súp cua ngô non) is quick to make, particularly if you buy cooked crabmeat.
In a large pot, combine the stock and corncobs and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove and discard corncobs.
Stir in the crabmeat and corn kernels and simmer for 10 minutes, until the corn is tender. Season to taste with salt.
Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls and garnish each serving with a few drops of sesame oil, a pinch of white pepper, and some of the scallions. Serve immediately.