Imitation shark fin soup is a very popular snack sold by street hawkers in Hong Kong. Why?
In Chinese wedding banquet, guests can enjoy 8 to 10 expensive dishes. It would definitely include a shark fin soup. Not only does this soup take a long time to cook, but also is shark fin tremendously expensive. That’s why this soup won’t be on a family’s daily menu. Yet many Chinese like this soup very much.
According to Wikipedia in Chinese, many hawkers started selling this soup on street many years ago. Initially they sold genuine shark fin soup in early days as they could buy broken parts of shark fins from restaurants. Then they cooked shark fins with dried black fungus, egg and water chestnut flour. It’s widely accepted by Hong Kong people. The soup was sold in little bowls. So it’s called碗仔翅 in Chinese Cantonese (literally translated into English that is “Shark Fin Soup in Little Bowls”).
Nowadays, the hawkers use cellophane noodles instead of genuine shark fin simply because no restaurants would do so anymore as the price of shark fins has been growing up. Thus, Imitation Shark Fin Soup has come into place. People still love this imitated version, as it tastes delicious, not expensive and easy to prepare.
- 50 gm skinless chicken breast
- 50 gm lean pork, shredded
- 20 gm Chinese black mushroom, soaked at least 4 hours until soften
- 30 gm cellophane noodles（粉絲or called “glass noodles”）
- 8-10 pieces of dried black fungus (黑木耳 or called "cloud ear" 雲耳or "wood ear" 木耳.)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- a dash of sesame oil
- white pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 2 Tbsp water chestnut flour
- 4 Tbsp water
- Soak black mushrooms, dried black fungus and cellophane noodles separately until soften and drain well. Remove the hard stems of black mushrooms (you can save the stems to cook other Chinese soups if you like), cut into small strips. Trim the dried black fungus. Section cellophane noodles. Set aside.
- Shred chicken breast and pork into thin strips.
- Bring chicken broth and water to the boil. Add chicken, pork, black mushroom, dried black fungus and cook for a while until all ingredients are cooked through and softened. Add cellophane noodles and seasoning. Add salt to taste. When it boils again, stir in thickening and beaten egg, mix well. Remove from heat. Use a small bowl to serve!
Remark:I received an email from a reader to request this recipe in English that originally posted on my Chinese food blog. Well, I have to admit this recipe is a must to post and share with those who love Hong Kong street snacks.