Shark fin soup was once the dish often served at wedding banquets, birthday dinners of elders and of course, during Chinese New Year dinners. When news broke about the horrible truth of how sharks were tortured just to obtain their fins, imitation shark fins got popular!
Imitation shark fin which are made to look like the real thing. Using agar-agar, it creates the translucent long strips to look like the real shark fins, These agar-agar strips can be bought in Asian grocers or supermarkets although they aren't often sold. The best substitute to shark fins are korean glass noodles which are cut short to ca. 5 cm.
Although a substitute of shark fin soup was used instead, I really do think the taste and amazing flavours of the soup were kept intact 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, wood ear mushroom and Korean glass noodles in-room temperature water until soft. In a pot, boil water and allow it to simmer along with drumstick and dried scallops for an hour. Then, 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, sliced shiitake mushrooms, Shaoxing wine and soy sauce. Boil for 10 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper along with dark soya sauce. To thicken the soup, mix water and cornstarch. Then, add the cornstarch mixture to the 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.