Since saying no to shark finning years ago, we have been carefully avoiding shark fin soup at wedding banquets and celebratory occasions. Consuming shark fin is cruel and unnecessary. In fact, shark fin itself is rather tasteless. The flavor comes mainly from the broth, which is made with chicken stock.
Whenever I visit Hong Kong, I’d always come across this imitation shark fin soup 碗仔翅 sold by street hawkers. At HK$15 (approx. S$3) a bowl, they are shark-friendly and taste pretty genuine. Mung bean vermicelli or glass noodles is used instead to mimic the shark fin’s chewy and gelatinous texture.
Oh, instead of using regular corn starch to thicken the soup, I’m using water chestnut powder. It gives the soup that signature clear translucent texture. If water chestnut flour is not available, feel free to use corn starch.
This soup is incredibly easy to make and keep well in the freezer. Simply thaw the required portion and heat them up over the stove.
3 pieces dried mushroom – soak in water for 1 hour or overnight, slice thinly
6 – 8 pieces dried black fungus – soak in water for 15 mins, slice thinly
80 g lean pork / chicken fillet – sliced thinly
30 g bean vermicelli – soak in water, cut into 3-inch sections
1 slice ginger
1 egg – beaten with 2 tbsp water
2 cups (500 ml) low sodium chicken stock
3 cups (1000 ml) water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 tsp chicken powder
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
Ground white pepper to taste
Sesame oil to taste
2 tbsp water chestnut flour mixed with 3 tbsp water (or more if needed)
Black vinegar and white pepper
Recipe adapted from: Seafoodwatch.org (with slight modifications)
Mix all the seasoning in a bowl and set aside.
Slice the lean pork into thin strips and marinate with 1 tsp corn starch, 1 tsp water, dash of sesame oil, pepper and salt for 10 mins. This will tenderize the meat when cooked.
Prepare all the other ingredients and set aside.
In a large pot, add in 2 tsp cooking oil and sauté ginger until fragrant over medium high heat.
Add in the meat and mushroom and continue to cook for another 2 mins.
Add in water, chicken stock, black fungus, bean vermicelli and bring to boil.
Simmer for 5 mins and skim away the residue on the surface of the soup (if any).
Add in all the seasoning and stir well. Taste and adjust if necessary.
Turn the heat to low and while stirring the soup, add in the water chestnut mixture slowly.
You might not need to add in all the solution. Adjust until you achieve a thickened consistency. Please note the egg will thicken the soup further at the last step.
Turn off heat and drizzle in the beaten egg while stirring the soup.
Serve warm with some black vinegar and white pepper.