Shark's Fin Soup with Dried Scallops and Crab Meat (Imitation Shark's Fin)

Shark's fin soup is a Chinese traditional soup served in special occasions like weddings and banquets. It is considered as a 'luxury food', hence the selection in wedding and banquet menus. In order to catch up with the rocketing demand of shark's fin, peoples are practicing shark finning and this has raise international concern over the sustainability and welfare of sharks.

...some sharks starve to death, others are slowly eaten by other fish...
Shark finning is the practice of slicing off the shark’s fins while the shark is still alive and throwing the rest of its body back into the ocean where it can take days to die what must be an agonising death. Some sharks starve to death, others are slowly eaten by other fish, and some drown, because sharks need to keep moving to force water through their gills for oxygen. Shark fins are used as the principal ingredient of shark fin soup.

~ source:

Many peoples (myself included) enjoy this 'luxury food', unaware of the suffering that finning causes. But thanks to the respective organizations and social medias, awareness was spread to the public and restaurant owners. Nowadays, you will notice more peoples are choosing double-boiled dried seafood soup over this 'luxury food'.

Shark's fin itself is tasteless and its gelatinous character can easily be imitated. You can get imitation shark's fin in hypermarket (around CNY festive season) at a very low price, but still get the texture similar to the real shark's fin and it is more environmental friendly.

For me and my hubby, we love shark's fin soup because of the flavorful broth. I will cook this for our family's CNY Reunion Dinner every year (ever since I learn how to cook this 'luxury food' from my Kam Mo [Aunty]).

One of the key ingredient to get a super yummylicious shark's fin soup is good dried scallops. When you have good dried scallops, your broth will speak for itself. But if your dried scallops are not that good, you will need to put more effort to tell the story.

Today, I am going to share a recipe using good dried scallops. I bought mine at Shatin, Hong Kong. There are very small but packed with flavor and very sweet, sweet of seafood taste. If you are buying dried scallops locally, usually there are not as fragrance as HK's and you will need to use deep fried chicken instead of chicken carcass.

Prep Time  : 15 mins
Cook Time : 3 hours
Total Time : 3 hours 15 mins
Serves       : 25 pax

7 liters water
2 pcs chicken carcass
1/2 cup dried scallops
2 pkts imitation shark's fin
2 pkts crab meats
3/4 cup oyster sauce with dried scallops
1 Tbsp chicken stock granules
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 cooked salted egg yolk, mashed (optional)

Prepare the Imitation Shark's Fin
4cm ginger (sliced)
1 stalk spring onion
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine

Thickening (Combined)
3/4 cup corn starch

1. In a stock pot, add chicken carcass, dried scallops and water. Bring it to boil under high heat. Reduce to medium high heat and continue to let it simmer for an hour and another an hour on medium low heat.

2. Take out the chicken carcasses. Add in oyster sauce with dried scallops, chicken stock granules and salt, follow by crab meats. Continue to let it simmer for another 45 mins. Taste the soup and adjust to your own liking.

3. To prepare the imitation shark's fin: In a small pot with approx. 3 cups water, add in slices of ginger and a stalk of spring onion. Bring it to a boil then add in Shaoxing wine. Let it simmer for approx. 30 seconds, off the flame. Stir in the imitation shark's fin and let it sit for approx. 30 - 40 seconds, depending on the fin (*). Drain well and set aside.

4. Just before serving, add in the mashed cooked salted egg yolk and thicken with corn starch mixture to your desired consistency.

5. Lastly, add in the Shaoxing wine and imitation shark's fin, and stir well. You may also add in the imitation shark's fin after serving on the bowl, as a garnish. Just scoop a big heaps of tablespoon on the soup.

● If your dried scallops are not that fragrant, you may use '1pc deep fried aged/old chicken' instead of '2pcs chicken carcass'. You may also add chinese ham to enhance the flavor.

● The seasoning measurement above may vary, depending on the dried scallops. Do taste the soup and adjust to your own liking before serving.

(*) Do not let the fin sit too long in the hot bath. Some fin will melt very fast and you will ended up with tiny fin.

Make this recipe? Don't forget to snap a photo of it and tag #msyummyliciousrecipe on social media! I would love to see them! Enjoy my recipe!

I am linking this post to "Cook & Celebrate CNY 2016" organized by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

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