Due to its prestige, shark fin soup was once the dish often served at wedding banquets, birthday dinners of elders and of course, during Chinese New Year dinners. I used to enjoy the dish immensely until I learnt about the horrible truth of how sharks were tortured just to obtain their fins! Thankfully, the popularity of this dish is decreasing and substitutions of shark fins are now used to prepare shark fin soup.
Although other ingredients were used instead, I really do think the taste and amazing flavours were kept intact in this dish as it was just as how I remembered it.
The trick was to use homemade broth comprising of chicken drumstick and scallops for the best flavours. You may substitute dried scallops with a tablespoon of oyster sauce. A bit of dark soy sauce was used to give it some colour. If you like, prepare the broth hours in advance or it can be prepared 3 days earlier although I would not recommend the latter. It would be more delicious if freshly prepared.
Serve this soup as an appetizer with a few drops of sesame oil and some Chinese black vinegar. Oh, so yummy!
Imitation Shark Fin Soup is also known as: 碗仔翅
Hydrate dried shiitake mushrooms and Korean glass noodles in water. Boil a pot of water and leave to simmer along with drumstick and dried scallops for an hour. Remove drumstick and scallops from broth and shred them.
Boil broth at medium to high heat, add shredded drumstick, scallops, crab meat, sliced wood ear mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, 'Shaoxing' wine and soy sauce into the broth. Boil for 10 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper along with dark soya sauce. To thicken the soup, add cornstarch mixture to the pot of soup.
Beat an egg and carefully pour it into soup. Turn stove off after 10 seconds. Serve with some Chinese black vinegar and a few drops of sesame oil.