Foodie

Monday, May 20, 2013

Shark Fin Soup With Crab Meat

 





According to Wiki, Shark fin soup dates back to Ming Dynasty, China and is considered by Chinese as one of the eight treasured foods from the sea.  This delicacy was coveted by emperors because it was rare, delicious, and required elaborate preparation - i can relate to this cos i just had the chore of preparing a box of dried Shark Fins which costed $134,00 usd. Holding both culinary and symbolic significance, this dish is a staple of gourmet Chinese cuisine which symbolizes wealth, power, prestige and honor. 
Our dearest friend, Belinda celebrated her birthday last weekend and to show respect and honor, i prepared this Shark Fin Soup With Crab Meat for her and her guests as an appreciation to our dear friendship. 
Luckily this soup is not a staple food and only served on important occasions otherwise i will be going around with pruney fingers.  I had to blanch the dried shark fins in hot water  and this process was repeated 3 times.  Then the blanched shark fins had to be soaked,  of which the soaking water was changed several times a day for a whole week.  After soaking the translucent gelatin needles have to be separated from all impurities - this was so laborious and where pruney fingers were possible, i spend more than 4 hours doing this process.
Ingredients:
1 cup shark fins - cleaned and soaked
1 cup of crab meat 
2 tbsp crab roe(sub with cooked salted egg yolk)
5 cups home-cooked chicken stock(recipe at the bottom)
Ginger slices
2 stalks of green onions - cut into 3 inches in length
Shaoxing Wine
2 egg whites + 2 tbsp chicken stock
2 heaped tbsp water chestnut powder(dilute with 1/2 cup chicken stock) - beat well 
1 tbsp chicken fat oil
White pepper
Salt to taste

Condiments:

Brandy
Black vinegar

Method:

Drain soaked shark fins and place in a bowl.  Add enough of chicken stock to cover the shark fins together with a few slices of ginger, green onions,1 tbsp of shaoxing wine and  a pinch of salt.  Bring 2 inches of water to the boil and place the bowl of shark fins on a rack for steaming for 30 minutes.  After steaming, remove the ginger slices and green onions and drain.  Leave aside.

Place crab meat in a bowl together with a few slices of ginger, green onions and 1 tbsp of shaoxing wine and top with enough of chicken stock to cover the crab meat.  Steam for 30 minutes.  After steaming, remove ginger slices and green onions and drain.  Leave aside.

Bring 5 cups of chicken stock to the boil, add in shark fins and crab meat.  When soup comes back to the boil, add in the water chestnut slurry and cook until soup is thickened. Bring soup back to a good boil and then remove from heat.

Add in the beaten egg whites and give it a slight stir to evenly cook them.

Adjust the taste with salt, white pepper and a splash of chicken fat oil.

Serve hot with brandy and black vinegar.

Enjoy

To cook chicken stock:

1 whole chicken
Ginger slices
Green onions
Salt to taste

Bring a large pot of water to the boil (enough water to cover the cleaned chicken).

Add in the chicken slowly together with ginger slice and green onions.  Bring it back to a good rolling boil, lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook chicken for 2 to 3 hours.

Adjust taste with salt.

Remove chicken and drain soup through a fine sieve.

Remove chicken fat oil from soup with a skimmer and leave aside.

Chicken stock is ready for soup.


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