Shark Fin soup is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine. It is usually served at special occasions such as weddings, banquets, Chinese new year, etc. Shark Fin in consider a “luxury” food item in Chinese tradition.
Genuine shark fin soup or stew is made with shark fins obtained from any of a variety of shark species. Raw shark fins are processed by first removing the skin, trimming them to shape, and thoroughly drying them. A reader did share with me about shark finning and I went on reading about it. I guess I never really realized how shark finning was done before. The older generations in Asia often encourage the usage of genuine shark’s fin in preparing shark’s fin soup and that’s probably why it has somehow embedded in my mind that I want to use “genuine” stuff, especially in this case. Shark finning is cruel for sure. The fins were removed from the sharks alive!! The meats of the sharks are worthless, so they were dumped back to the sea. Finless, the shark will eventually die in the ocean.
There is an imitation version that is usually sold in cans that may be labelled as shark’s fin. The imitation is instead made of mung bean noodles/cellophane noodles, mushrooms, different typres of fungi, bean curd sheets and perhaps other ingredients to resemble the texture of shark’s fin.I believe that many Asian restaurants that serve shark’s fin soup now, use imitation shark’s fin, mainly to save cost. I couldn’t tell the difference. Many people have told me that they couldn’t tell the difference either.
The shark fins don’t have any taste, they are transparent and kinda chewy-crunchy. When you cook them in the broth along with the crabs and eggs, they will absorb the flavor, making the soup so wonderful. So, really, using imitation shark’s fin soup to curb your cravings for shark’s fin soup will not only save you some $$$, but also the sharks.
- 2 cups of imitation shark's fin
- 8.5 cups (2 L) of chicken Stock
- 7 oz (200 g) of crab meat (shredded)
- 2 eggs (beaten and strained-important that you do this)
- Salt and pepper to season
- 2 Tbsp of corn starch (mix with a bit of water)
- Black Vinegar
- In a large heavy-bottom pot/dutch-oven, bring the Chicken Stock to a boil
- Add in crab meat and season with salt and pepper
- Add in shark fin and let it simmer for 1 minute
- You may need another person to help you with this part, but if you don't have anyone around when you prepare this - Do your best by pour in the egg slowly with one hand and the other hand stirs the soup at the same time to make sure you get a smooth egg drops. Make sure your pot is a heavy-bottom and stable so it won't "move" when you stir
- Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper as needed. Add in the corn starch a bit by a bit and continue to stir the soup at the same time until it is thickened
- Ready to serve. Drizzle with Black Vinegar if you like