Electrolux Newsroom Asia Pacific

How to enjoy a finless shark’s fin soup this Lunar New Year


Shark’s fin soup is a delicacy served in many restaurants across Asia, and usually features on menus for special occasions such as Lunar New Year or at Chinese weddings.

But the demand for a shark’s fins, coupled with its low reproduction rate, has rendered the species endangered.  So how does one enjoy the same delicacy without doing any harm to these magnificent creatures?  Chefs around the world have found the answer in finless variants of this popular soup, and it’s nothing that can’t be recreated at home.


Soup up the flavour

The important thing to remember is that shark’s fin by itself is tasteless.  The deliciousness of shark’s fin soup comes primarily from the broth it’s cooked in.  You can easily boil one up with chicken broth, crab meat, scallops and mushrooms.  Add cornstarch to thicken the soup.  Shark’s fin soup can be made with many other ingredients, such as eggs, chestnuts, Chinese ham or ginger.  So get experimenting and find a finless broth you and your family can enjoy.

The Electrolux Brio’s Triple Ring burner and Dual Valve Precise Control  make it easy to boil and simmer soups.

As this is a thick soup that uses cornstarch as an ingredient, it can be easy to burn it if left at too high a temperature for too long.  This can be avoided with cooking hobs like the Electrolux Brio, whose Triple Ring burner and Dual Valve Precise Control make it easy to turn the power of the flame from a boiling hot 4.2kW to a simmer at 0.5kW instantaneously. 

Find substitutes for texture 

Getting the soup right is one thing, but some diners may still demand the texture that the shark’s fin brings to the soup.  Street hawkers offering this dish at an affordable price have long had the answer – use cellophane, or glass noodles instead.  Some supermarkets may also offer an imitation shark’s fin made from gelatin.

For an even healthier substitute, consider the humble winter melon. When cooked, the fibrous strands of this vegetable separate slightly and look like shark’s fin. The resemblance is so uncanny that it has earned the moniker “shark’s fin melon”.

Photo by: Kent Wang
Winter melon is a common ingredient in Chinese soups, and if boiled long enough, its strands separate to resemble shark’s fin.

And it comes with additional health benefits, since winter melon contains fibre and vitamins that the nutrient-poor shark’s fin does not.  Not to mention that this affordable vegetable means you’d be getting the most returns back nutrition-wise.

To get a natural-looking finless shark’s fin soup with winter melon, start by removing its skin and seeds, then dice it into big chunks.  After bringing the soup to a boil, simmer it slowly for about 30 minutes to bring out the flavours of the ingredients, and to allow the winter melon to separate into strands that resemble shark’s fin.  The Electrolux Brio hob’s Aerated Penta Jet design is perfectly suited for this task as it helps reduce boiling times by a third.  It also gives you great control over the cooking process regardless of which version you prefer.

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