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Shark’s Fin Melon Soup


Shark's Fin Melon Soup
Shark’s Fin Melon Soup 鱼翅瓜汤

Shark's Fin Melon Soup I am cooking shark’s fin melon soup! NOT shark’s fin + melon soup, but soup made from shark’s fin melon … so don’t worry, no sharks were killed in the making of this soup. As you may have guessed, shark’s fin melon got its name from its resemblance to shark’s fin, a popular and really expensive Chinese delicacy. When cooked (right photo), the strands of the melon separate a little, which really look like shark’s fin, and hence the name of its melon. Shark’s fin melon is really cheap – I bought a piece of the melon for only S$1.50. I was told that real shark’s fin on its own has no nutrition value and no taste, and the overall taste of the shark’s fin soup comes from its earthy broth of chicken, crab and other ingredients. This melon, on the other hand, is packed with lots of taste and nutrients, even my mum swears by the health benefits of this soup. If I am selling this soup, my sales pitch will be that “this soup is more nutritional and much, much cheaper than real sharks fin soup”. If you like this kind version of shark fin soup, do check out my imitation shark fin soup recipe where the fake fins are made with gelatin.

In Singapore, this melon is labeled as ‘Shark’s Fin Melon’ (鱼翅瓜). The flesh resembles winter melon but the green skin covering looks entirely different. According to Wiki, in other countries especially in the west, the other names of this melon are spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo), vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, Spaghetti Marrow (in the UK) , squaghetti or Sharkfin Melon (鱼翅瓜). However, spaghetti squash and the other names may not be a 100% accurate translation, though it gives a good start. According to readers comments, the spaghetti squash in the west is sort of yellow/orange outside and inside. There may be a slight variation of breed from location to location.

(Serves two)

Ingredients for making Shark's Fin Melon Soup

- 1200ml water
- a small piece of shark’s fin melon (about 500-700g before skin & seeds removed)
- 200g pork ribs (or half chicken, skin removed and cut to small pieces)
- 2 honey red dates
- 6 red dates
- 1 tbsp wolfberries
- 1 tsp bitter almonds (optional)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 sweet corn, cut to chunks

Shark's Fin Melon
Shark’s Fin Melon (L: removing seeds with a spoon, R: cut into chunks)

1. Cut away the skin from the shark’s fin melon, scoop out the seeds using a spoon and cut the melon to big chunks (see photo above)
2. Blanch the pork ribs in a pot of water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Place the blanched pork ribs, cut melon chunks and the rest of the ingredients (except wolfberries) into a pot with the water. Bring to a boil, continue boiling over high heat for 10 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to a lower flame and simmer for at least another 30-40 minutes (and longer if you can). Add wolfberries at the last 15 minutes of cooking. You can also slow cook, or use a thermal pot (or whatever you have) to prolong the cooking to bring out the tastes.

Cooking Notes
1. The key ingredients are pork ribs, melon, wolfberries and red dates. The rest are additional ingredients to improve the taste so you can omit them if you do not have the ingredients.
2. Honey red dates make the soup very sweet. I added both red dates and honey red dates because I have both. You can add either one.

Who’s Also Cooking it

For an alternative way of cooking this soup, check out wokkingmum’s version, whereby she added cornflour solution to make it more starchy and this way of cooking bears even more resemblance to shark’s fin soup. Very interesting and creative!

I’m submitting this soup to Weekend Herb Blogging, a weekly food event started by Kalyn’s Kitchen and hosted this round by We Are Never Full.

On a different note, turns one! Actually, it turned one on 6 Oct, though I just realised it yesterday. Thank you for visiting my food blog :)


Leave a Comment

47 Responses to “Shark’s Fin Melon Soup”

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  1. skinnymum — October 18, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

    looks yummy…. not taken this soup before, but intrigued by the unique combo. will make it tomorrow if i can find the melon.


  2. We Are Never Full — October 18, 2008 @ 11:24 pm

    what i love most about this dish is the chunks of whole corn. LOVE IT!


  3. Little Corner of Mine — October 18, 2008 @ 11:26 pm

    Yum, this soup must be sweet and delicious. I want some soup now! Hehe… Oh yeah, come by my blog to claim your award. :)


  4. Erik — October 18, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

    I have to admit I was taken aback by the title of the post, but I was intrigued enough to take a look even though I knew I would never make anything with Shark’s Fin in it.
    How glad I was to see I had assumed incorrectly! Awesome post; I learned something new!


  5. lalaine — October 19, 2008 @ 6:38 am

    Is this melon like the spaghetti squash? Looks pretty similar. I use this squash, which also breaks to strands, as spaghetti noodles…with meat sauce and all!

    Lovely pictures. :up:


  6. Jj_an — October 19, 2008 @ 7:53 am

    Hi Noob cook,
    Have not figured out your name yet, I’m a not too noob cook, Singaporean based in Shanghai, stumbled upon your website and loved it ! Makes me miss home alot and all the convenience of easily assessible “common” food (to us at least) haha..
    Just want to ask.. do you know what is the “real name” of this shark fin melon ? Better if you know in mandarin, there ain’t no “shark-fin melon” here in china..

    btw, your pictures are excellent ! which camera do u use ?!


  7. Christy — October 19, 2008 @ 10:40 am

    COOL, no sharks…I like that idea…I’ve never supported the notion of shark’s fin soup:p

    This is really interesting, the texture of the melon….haha, like shark’s fin?
    But is this similar to winter melon as well?


  8. wiffy — October 19, 2008 @ 11:33 am

    skinnymum, thanks! hope you like it when you try it :)

    We Are Never Full, thanks for your kind words and for hosting the event, can’t wait to see the round up ^^

    LCOM, thank you so much for the cool award! U’re the best! *touched*

    Erik, hehe maybe I should change my title … thanks for your kind words & for visiting me ^o^

    lalaine, yes I searched on wiki and found that it is also known as spaghetti squash. It is interesting to learn how different cultures name their food ingredients =) thanks for visiting me ^^

    jj_an, noob cook = noob (beginner) at cooking, hehe The literal translation is 鱼翅瓜 in mandarin. Over here, our supermarkets really name it as shark’s fin melon and no other name. I’ve updated my post with the other english names it’s known as. Basically look similar to winter melon (tend to be more longish, and the skin has “marbled spots”) … hope you find it in Shanghai! I’m using Nikon D80 … thanks for your kind words ^^

    Christy, thanks! This melon looks similar to winter melon, but when cooked, the strands separate but not winter melon. No, the texture is not similar to shark’s fin though… it is softer ;p


  9. ladyironchef — October 19, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

    yay! i love shark fin melon soup, not shark fin soup. hahaha. my mom always cook this soup for us : )


  10. ladyironchef — October 19, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

    btw wiffy, u using d80 with what lens?


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