Imitation Shark Fin Soup (Fake Fin Soup) 碗仔翅
Chinese New Year is a time when families celebrating the occasion get together and indulge in some serious feasting. Nowadays, with society getting more affluent, the food is also getting more elaborate – for example, a luxurious pot of shark fin soup is no longer a rare sight on the dining table. I have avoided consuming shark fin soup for many years due to the cruelty of shark finning and how it had led to a drastic decline in the shark population. Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against those who consume this Chinese delicacy, nor do I want to be hypocritical about it since I’m not a vegetarian. However, on a personal basis, I prefer to cook with imitation shark fin which is essentially made with gelatin. For those who have tasted the real shark fin soup before, you may agree with me that the fin is largely tasteless, with the flavour contributed by the rich soup broth of chicken, crab and other ingredients. While imitation shark fin may lose out slightly in terms of texture to the real thing, I adore the firm texture of the imitation fin which gives it a good bite. Better still, it cost a fraction of the price (I bought a packet for less than S$10) and it is a much kinder option you can consider amidst this festive season. Do also check out my other faux shark fin soup recipe using shark fin melon.
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- 500g imitation shark fin (shark’s fin)
- 250g cooked crab meat (if using frozen, thaw before use)
- 4 dried black fungus, soaked in hot water to soften and sliced thinly (discard the hard part on the centre underside of the fungus)
- 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thinly (may also substitute with dried Chinese mushrooms, soak in hot water to soften before use)
- 700ml chicken stock (preferably home-made)
- Chinese white pepper
- black vinegar
- Chinese coriander leaves
- cornstarch solution: mix 2 heaped tbsp corn flour with 4 tbsp water
- blanched beansprouts
- shredded chicken (boil a piece of chicken breast for about 15 minutes, shred when the chicken is cooled)
1. Place imitation shark fins in a wide and deep plate. Blanch the fins by pouring boiling water over it and leaving it covered for about 5 minutes. Discard water, drain the fins and set aside.
2. Bring chicken broth to boil in a pot. Add sliced black fungus and sliced mushrooms, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Add crab meat and blanched sharks fin. Bring to a simmer for another 3 minutes.
4. Before using cornstarch solution, stir again to dissolve cornflour in the mixture. Slowly pour in the cornstarch solution while stirring until you reach the consistency desired. For thicker and starchier soup, add more cornstarch solution; for a more watery and soupy consistency, add more broth. Season with salt, light soy sauce or other seasonings if needed.
5. Dish the soup to serving bowls and serve on the side – coriander, white pepper, black vinegar and optional, blanched beansprouts and shredded chicken.
- Shark Fin Melon Soup
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