Imitation shark fin soup is a vegetarian or plant-based version of the traditional Chinese delicacy known as shark fin soup. Traditional shark fin soup is made using actual shark fins, which are considered a luxury ingredient in Chinese cuisine. However, due to concerns about the sustainability and ethical implications of shark finning, imitation shark fin soup has gained popularity as a more sustainable and cruelty-free alternative.

WHAT IS SHARK FIN SOUP / IMITATION SHARK FIN SOUP?

Shark fin soup is a traditional Chinese delicacy that has been consumed for centuries, particularly in Chinese banquet settings and during special occasions such as weddings and celebrations. The soup is highly prized for its perceived luxuriousness and is often served as a symbol of status and wealth.

The traditional preparation of shark fin soup involves using actual shark fins, which are harvested from sharks through a practice known as shark finning. This process involves catching sharks, removing their fins while they are still alive, and discarding the rest of the shark back into the ocean, often resulting in the death of the shark. Shark finning is widely condemned for its cruelty and its detrimental impact on shark populations and marine ecosystems.

To prepare shark fin soup, the shark fins are typically soaked and simmered in a rich broth made from chicken, pork, or other meats, along with various seasonings and ingredients such as ginger, scallions, mushrooms, and sometimes seafood. The fins themselves have a gelatinous texture and are prized for their purported health benefits and symbolic significance.

Imitation shark fin soup, on the other hand, is a cruelty-free and sustainable alternative to traditional shark fin soup. As the name suggests, imitation shark fin soup does not contain actual shark fins. Instead, it is made using plant-based or vegetarian ingredients that mimic the texture and appearance of shark fins.

Common ingredients used in imitation shark fin soup may include edible fungi such as wood ear mushrooms or cloud ear fungus, bean thread noodles, and various vegetables. These ingredients are cooked together in a flavorful broth seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, and other seasonings to create a soup that resembles the taste and texture of traditional shark fin soup without the need for shark fins.

Imitation shark fin soup has gained popularity as a more ethical and environmentally conscious option, as it allows individuals to enjoy a similar culinary experience without contributing to the demand for shark fins and the associated environmental issues. It is also a more sustainable choice that aligns with contemporary values of animal welfare and conservation.

WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPES?

  • Luxurious and Elegant: Shark fin soup is often associated with luxury and elegance, making it a standout dish for special occasions and celebrations.
  • Delicate Flavor and Texture: The soup boasts a delicate and refined flavor profile, with the shark fins contributing a unique texture that is both gelatinous and tender.
  • Cultural Significance: Shark fin soup holds cultural significance in Chinese cuisine and is often served as a symbol of prosperity, good fortune, and respect for guests.
  • Rich Tradition: Enjoying shark fin soup can be a way to connect with culinary traditions that span centuries, reflecting the rich heritage of Chinese gastronomy.
  • Social and Cultural Experience: Sharing shark fin soup with loved ones during gatherings or banquets can be a memorable and enjoyable social experience, fostering a sense of togetherness and celebration.
  • Customization: Shark fin soup recipes can be adapted and customized to suit individual tastes and preferences, allowing for creative variations and personal touches.
  • Unique Ingredients: Exploring the ingredients used in shark fin soup, such as premium seafood, delicate seasonings, and aromatic herbs, can be a culinary adventure that delights the senses.
  • Satisfaction of Mastery: Successfully preparing shark fin soup can be a source of pride and satisfaction, as it requires skill, attention to detail, and appreciation for culinary craftsmanship.

Overall, this Savoury Hakka Tong Yuen recipe offers a delicious and comforting dining experience while allowing you to explore the rich culinary traditions of Chinese cuisine.

INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES

Ingredient quantities please refer to the recipes card (Click here)!

  • Chicken Breast –  Chicken breast provides lean protein and adds flavor to the soup. You can substitute chicken thigh or tofu for a vegetarian option.
  • Cooking Oil –  Cooking oil is used for sautéing the aromatics and seafood. You can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil as alternatives.
  • Ginger Slices –  Ginger adds aromatic flavor to the soup base. There’s no direct substitute for ginger, but you can omit it if needed.
  • Dried Scallops –  Dried scallops contribute a rich umami flavor to the soup. You can substitute dried shrimp or omit them if unavailable.
  • Dried Shrimp –  Dried shrimp add seafood flavor to the soup. You can substitute with fresh shrimp or omit them if necessary.
  • Shiitake Mushrooms –  Shiitake mushrooms provide a meaty texture and earthy flavor to the soup. You can substitute with other mushroom varieties like button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms.
  • Black Fungus –  Black fungus, also known as wood ear mushrooms, adds a crunchy texture to the soup. You can substitute with other mushroom varieties or omit them if preferred.
  • Korean Glass Noodles –  Korean glass noodles, also known as sweet potato starch noodles, provide a chewy texture to the soup. You can substitute with rice noodles or vermicelli noodles.
  • Soy Sauce –  Soy sauce adds savory flavor and saltiness to the soup. You can use tamari or coconut aminos as gluten-free alternatives.
  • Oyster Sauce –  Oyster sauce adds richness and depth of flavor to the soup. You can use vegetarian oyster sauce or hoisin sauce as substitutes.
  • White Pepper –  White pepper adds heat and depth of flavor to the soup. You can substitute with black pepper if preferred.
  • Cornstarch –  Cornstarch is used as a thickening agent for the soup. You can substitute with arrowroot starch or tapioca starch.
  • Egg –  Beaten egg adds a silky texture to the soup. You can omit the egg for a vegan version of the soup.
  • Coriander Leaves –  Fresh coriander leaves are used as a garnish for the soup. You can substitute with parsley or omit the garnish if desired.
  • Black Vinegar –  Black vinegar adds tanginess and depth of flavor to the soup. You can substitute with rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

These ingredients contribute to the complex flavors and textures of the Chicken and Seafood Hot and Sour Soup, but feel free to adjust and substitute based on your dietary preferences and ingredient availability.

RECIPES TIPS

  • Prepare Ingredients in Advance: Before you start cooking, make sure all your ingredients are prepped and ready to go. This includes soaking the dried scallops, dried shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, and black fungus, as well as shredding the chicken breast.
  • Use High-Quality Ingredients: Since this soup relies on the flavors of the seafood and chicken, using high-quality ingredients will enhance the overall taste of the dish.
  • Adjust Seasonings to Taste: Taste the soup as you go and adjust the seasonings accordingly. You can add more soy sauce for saltiness, more vinegar for tanginess, or more white pepper for heat, depending on your preference.
  • Be Mindful of Texture: The soup should have a balance of textures, including tender chicken, chewy noodles, and crunchy vegetables. Be mindful not to overcook the noodles or vegetables to preserve their texture.
  • Thicken the Soup Gradually: When adding the cornstarch mixture to thicken the soup, do so gradually while stirring continuously. This will prevent lumps from forming and ensure a smooth consistency.
  • Allow the Egg to Set: After adding the beaten egg to the soup, allow it to sit for a few minutes without stirring. This will allow the egg to set and create delicate ribbons throughout the soup.
  • Garnish Just Before Serving: Garnish the soup with fresh coriander leaves, black vinegar, sesame oil, and white pepper just before serving. This will add freshness and enhance the visual appeal of the dish.
  • Store Leftovers Properly: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water if needed to thin out the soup.

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Full recipes and Thermomix® instructions please refer to the recipes card (Click here)!

  1. Prepare Chicken: Place the chicken breast in a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Once done, remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool. Shred the chicken into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Sauté Aromatics: In a separate large pot, heat the cooking oil over medium heat. Add the ginger slices and sauté for about 2-3 minutes until aromatic.
  3. Add Seafood and Mushrooms: Add the soaked and shredded dried scallops, dried shrimp, and sliced shiitake mushrooms to the pot. Stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the ingredients are fragrant.
  4. Prepare Broth: Pour the water used for soaking the dried ingredients into the pot, along with additional water to reach a total of 1500 g. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  5. Cook Glass Noodles: In a separate pot, cook the Korean glass noodles according to the package instructions until they are soft and translucent. Drain the noodles and set them aside.
  6. Season Soup: Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, and white pepper to the soup pot. Stir well to combine and adjust the seasoning according to your taste preference.
  7. Thicken Soup: In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with water to make a slurry. Gradually pour the cornstarch slurry into the soup while stirring constantly to thicken the broth. Allow the soup to simmer for another 2-3 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.
  8. Add Egg: Slowly pour the beaten egg into the simmering soup while stirring gently in a circular motion. This will create delicate egg ribbons throughout the soup.
  9. Serve: Ladle the hot imitation shark fin soup into serving bowls. Garnish each bowl with shredded chicken, cooked glass noodles, coriander leaves, a drizzle of black vinegar, and a sprinkle of white pepper powder.
  10. Enjoy: Serve the imitation shark fin soup hot and enjoy its comforting flavors.

VARIATIONS

Here are some variations you can try to customize imitation shark fin soup:

  1. Vegetarian Version: Skip the chicken and seafood and instead use vegetable broth as the base. Add tofu cubes or sliced mushrooms for protein and texture. You can also add a variety of vegetables such as carrots, bamboo shoots, and baby corn for added flavor and nutrition.
  2. Seafood Medley: Enhance the soup with a medley of seafood such as shrimp, crab meat, and fish fillets. Add the seafood towards the end of cooking to prevent overcooking.
  3. Egg Drop Style: I: Instead of beating the egg and adding it directly to the soup, try creating egg ribbons by slowly pouring beaten egg into the hot soup while stirring gently. This will create delicate strands of egg throughout the soup for added texture and visual appeal.
  4. Spicy Variation: Add a kick of heat to the soup by incorporating chopped chili peppers or a dash of chili oil. You can also add a spoonful of chili paste or sriracha sauce for extra spiciness.
  5. Asian Herb Infusion: Infuse the soup with aromatic Asian herbs such as lemongrass, ginger, and Thai basil for a fragrant and refreshing flavor profile.
  6. Noodle Addition: Make the soup more substantial by adding cooked noodles such as rice noodles or egg noodles. Simply cook the noodles separately and add them to the soup bowls before ladling the hot broth over them.
  7. Customized Garnishes: Get creative with your garnishes by adding sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, crispy fried shallots, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice. These garnishes add freshness and depth of flavor to the soup.

WHAT ELSE TO SERVE WITH ?

Imitation shark fin soup, being a light and delicately flavored dish, pairs well with a variety of complementary side dishes. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Steamed Jasmine Rice: Serve steamed jasmine rice on the side to complement the soup. The rice helps balance the flavors and adds heartiness to the meal.
  2. Asian Greens: Stir-fried or steamed Asian greens such as bok choy, Chinese broccoli, or gai lan are excellent options. They provide a fresh and nutritious addition to the meal and can be lightly seasoned with garlic and soy sauce.
  3. Crispy Fried Wontons: Crispy fried wontons make a delicious and crunchy side dish. You can serve them plain or filled with a savory mixture of ground pork, shrimp, or vegetables.
  4. Sesame Cucumber Salad: A refreshing sesame cucumber salad adds a burst of freshness to the meal. Tossed with a simple dressing of sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame seeds, it complements the lightness of the soup.
  5. Spring Rolls: Fresh or fried spring rolls filled with vegetables, shrimp, or chicken make a delightful accompaniment. Serve them with a dipping sauce such as sweet chili sauce or peanut sauce for added flavor.
  6. Fried Rice: Whip up a batch of vegetable or egg fried rice to serve alongside the soup. The savory flavors of the fried rice complement the subtle taste of the soup.
  7. Fruit Platter: A platter of fresh seasonal fruits such as sliced oranges, pineapple chunks, and grapes can provide a refreshing and healthy option for dessert or as a palate cleanser after the meal.
  8. Asian Pickles: Pickled vegetables such as daikon radish, carrots, and cucumber add a tangy and crunchy element to the meal. They can be served as a light side dish or appetizer.

These side dishes add variety and texture to your meal while complementing the flavors of the imitation shark fin soup. Feel free to mix and match based on your preferences and dietary requirements.

MADE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prep Ingredients: Wash and soak the dried scallops, dried shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, and black fungus ahead of time. You can also shred the chicken breast in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Make Soup Base: You can prepare the soup base up to a day in advance. Follow steps 2 to 4 of the recipe to sauté the aromatics, add the soaked seafood and mushrooms, and simmer the soup base. Let it cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container and refrigerating it.
  3. Cook Noodles Separately: If you’re using Korean glass noodles, consider cooking them separately and storing them in cold water until ready to use. Drain them before adding them to the soup to prevent them from becoming mushy.
  4. Thicken Soup Before Serving: The cornstarch slurry can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve the soup, reheat the soup base and gradually add the cornstarch slurry to thicken it.
  5. Add Egg and Garnishes: Beat the egg just before serving and add it to the soup as per the recipe instructions. Garnish the soup with black vinegar, sesame oil, white pepper, and fresh coriander just before serving to maintain their freshness and flavor.

By prepping some components in advance, you can save time and make the cooking process more efficient when you’re ready to serve the Chicken and Seafood Hot and Sour Soup. Just remember to store the ingredients properly and assemble the soup just before serving for the best results.

STORAGE & REHEATING

  1. Storage: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure the soup is completely cooled down before sealing it to prevent condensation and spoilage.
  2. Reheating on the Stovetop: Transfer the desired portion of soup to a saucepan or pot. Heat the soup over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a gentle simmer. Avoid boiling the soup vigorously as it may affect the texture and flavor.
  3. Reheating in the Microwave: Place the soup in a microwave-safe container and cover it loosely with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel to prevent splattering. Heat the soup on medium power in intervals of 1 minute, stirring in between, until it reaches the desired temperature.
  4. Add Liquid if Needed: If the soup thickens upon refrigeration, you may need to add a splash of water or broth to thin it out to your desired consistency while reheating. Adjust the seasoning if necessary by adding a pinch of salt or a splash of soy sauce.
  5. Serve Hot: Once the soup is heated through, ladle it into serving bowls and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh herbs or additional toppings if desired.
  6. Avoid Freezing: It’s not recommended to freeze imitation shark fin soup as the texture of the ingredients, particularly the seafood and eggs, may change upon thawing and reheating.

RECIPES FAQS

Is imitation shark fin soup vegetarian?

Imitation shark fin soup can be vegetarian if it’s made with vegetarian-friendly ingredients such as vegetable broth, imitation shark fin, and vegetables. However, some versions may contain seafood-based broth or ingredients, so it’s important to check the recipe.

Is imitation shark fin soup healthy?

Imitation shark fin soup can be a nutritious and low-calorie option, especially if it’s made with a clear broth and plenty of vegetables. However, the nutritional content may vary depending on the ingredients used, such as the amount of sodium and fat.

What is imitation shark fin made of?

Imitation shark fin is typically made from gelatin or other plant-based alternatives shaped to resemble real shark fin. It provides a similar texture to traditional shark fin without the environmental concerns associated with harvesting shark fins.

Can I make imitation shark fin soup in advance?

Yes, you can make imitation shark fin soup in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a few days. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Can I freeze imitation shark fin soup?

It’s not recommended to freeze imitation shark fin soup, especially if it contains delicate ingredients such as seafood and eggs. Freezing and thawing may affect the texture and flavor of the soup.

How can I adjust the flavor of imitation shark fin soup?

You can adjust the flavor of imitation shark fin soup by adding seasonings such as soy sauce, vinegar, white pepper, and sesame oil according to your taste preferences. You can also experiment with different herbs, spices, and vegetables to enhance the flavor profile.

Can I make imitation shark fin soup spicy?

Yes, you can make imitation shark fin soup spicy by adding ingredients such as chili peppers, chili oil, or chili paste. Adjust the amount of spice according to your preference, and be mindful of the heat level when serving to others.

Can I adjust the portion size of the recipes?

You can certainly adjust the portion size for the recipes, but scaling up the recipes in Thermomix® is not recommended. The maximum capacity of the Thermomix® is 2.2L, which may not be sufficient if you increase the quantities. It’s advisable to use a large pot to cook the soup if you intend to scale up the recipes. This will ensure that you have enough space to accommodate the additional ingredients and maintain optimal cooking conditions.

This recipes is compatible with which model of Thermomix®?

This recipes suitable for TM31 / TM5 / TM6

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RECIPES VIDEO

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RECIPES CARD

Savoury Hakka Tong Yuen (Savoury Tang Yuan Soup)

Category, DifficultyBeginner

Hakka tang yuan is a traditional Chinese dish that originates from the Hakka ethnic group, known for their distinctive cuisine. Tang yuan, in general, are glutinous rice flour balls often filled with sweet or savory fillings and served in a flavorful broth or syrup. However, the Hakka version of tang yuan typically involves savory fillings and is served in a hearty broth.

Prep Time30 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time1 hr 10 mins

Yields4 Servings

Dough:
 250 g glutinous rice flour
 210 g water
Boiling Water:
 1600 g water
 4 slices, ginger
 5 g oil
Pork Fillets:
 150 g pork fillets, cut into strips
 2 tsp soy sauce
 2 tsp oyster sauce
  tsp white pepper
 ¼ tsp sugar
 2 tsp sesame oil
 2 tsp corn starch
Savoury Soup:
 25 g oil
 25 g shallot, sliced
 5 g ginger
 5 g garlic
 20 g dried shrimp, soaked to soften
 20 g dried scallop, soaked to soften
 10 g dried squid
 4 dried mushroom, soaked to soften, sliced
 1500 g chicken broth
 250 g radish, julienned
 coriander leaves for garnishing

Dough:
1

In a mixing bowl, heat 210g water for 2 min | 60°C | Speed 1.

2

Add glutinous rice flour and mix for 1 min | Speed 4. Switch to dough mode, kneading the dough for Dough | 2 min (added 1 tbsp of water through MC hole). Transfer the dough to a bowl, divide it into small portions, and roll each portion into a 12g ball.

3

Bring a pot of water with ginger slices and drops of oil to a boil. Gently drop the tang yuan into the boiling water. Cook until they float to the surface (usually 2-3 minutes). Remove the cooked tang yuan from the pot using a slotted spoon, drain excess water, and put them into a bowl of cold water to rest.

Marinate Pork Fillets:
4

Marinate the pork fillets with soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, white pepper, sesame oil, and corn starch. Set aside.

Savoury Soup:
5

Add cooking oil, shallot, ginger, and garlic into clean Thermomix® mixing bowl. Sauté for 5 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed 1.

6

Add the dried shrimp, scallops, and dried squids. Saute for 5 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed 1.

7

Add mushrooms. Saute for 3 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed 1.

8

Add chicken broth, water, and radish. Cook for 15 min | 100°C | ⤺ Speed Spoon, bringing it to a boil.

9

Add the reserved cooked tang yuan and pork fillets. Cook for 10 min | 100°C | ⤺ Speed Spoon.

10

Portion the glutinous rice balls into bowls. Ladle the hot soup generously over the meat and veggies. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve while warm.

Ingredients

Dough:
 250 g glutinous rice flour
 210 g water
Boiling Water:
 1600 g water
 4 slices, ginger
 5 g oil
Pork Fillets:
 150 g pork fillets, cut into strips
 2 tsp soy sauce
 2 tsp oyster sauce
  tsp white pepper
 ¼ tsp sugar
 2 tsp sesame oil
 2 tsp corn starch
Savoury Soup:
 25 g oil
 25 g shallot, sliced
 5 g ginger
 5 g garlic
 20 g dried shrimp, soaked to soften
 20 g dried scallop, soaked to soften
 10 g dried squid
 4 dried mushroom, soaked to soften, sliced
 1500 g chicken broth
 250 g radish, julienned
 coriander leaves for garnishing

Directions

Dough:
1

In a mixing bowl, heat 210g water for 2 min | 60°C | Speed 1.

2

Add glutinous rice flour and mix for 1 min | Speed 4. Switch to dough mode, kneading the dough for Dough | 2 min (added 1 tbsp of water through MC hole). Transfer the dough to a bowl, divide it into small portions, and roll each portion into a 12g ball.

3

Bring a pot of water with ginger slices and drops of oil to a boil. Gently drop the tang yuan into the boiling water. Cook until they float to the surface (usually 2-3 minutes). Remove the cooked tang yuan from the pot using a slotted spoon, drain excess water, and put them into a bowl of cold water to rest.

Marinate Pork Fillets:
4

Marinate the pork fillets with soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, white pepper, sesame oil, and corn starch. Set aside.

Savoury Soup:
5

Add cooking oil, shallot, ginger, and garlic into clean Thermomix® mixing bowl. Sauté for 5 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed 1.

6

Add the dried shrimp, scallops, and dried squids. Saute for 5 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed 1.

7

Add mushrooms. Saute for 3 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed 1.

8

Add chicken broth, water, and radish. Cook for 15 min | 100°C | ⤺ Speed Spoon, bringing it to a boil.

9

Add the reserved cooked tang yuan and pork fillets. Cook for 10 min | 100°C | ⤺ Speed Spoon.

10

Portion the glutinous rice balls into bowls. Ladle the hot soup generously over the meat and veggies. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve while warm.

Savoury Hakka Tong Yuen (Savoury Tang Yuan Soup)

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