Faux Shark Fin Soup: A Recipe From the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Faux shark fin soup.
Faux shark fin soup.
Courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Now that the California Shark Protection Act, a bill that would prohibit the sale, consumption and trade of shark's fin -- and with it shark fin soup -- sits on Governor Jerry Brown's desk, waiting for his approval (probably), here's a recipe for faux shark fin soup, courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The shark-friendly alternative was developed by chef Peter Pahk, who has worked to serve only sustainable seafood at his restaurants.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, tens of millions of sharks are killed around the world each year for their fins, and California is one of the largest markets for fins outside Asia. The Aquarium's website also has several other recipes, all made with sustainable seafood.

Faux shark fin soup

From: Chef Peter Pahk and The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

Serves: 6

1 ounce Chinese black mushrooms (shitake)

8-10 pieces of dried tree ear mushrooms

2 ounces cellophane noodles

2 ounces skinless raw chicken breast

2 ounces lean raw pork

2 cups unsalted chicken broth

2 cups water

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

Dash of sesame oil

White pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

2 tablespoons cornstarch

4 tablespoons water

1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Soak the black mushrooms, tree ear mushrooms and cellophane noodles separately in hot water for 4 hours until they soften. Drain well.

2. Remove the hard stems of the black mushrooms (you can save them to cook with other Chinese soups) and cut the remaining pieces into small strips. Chop the tree ear mushrooms into small pieces and cut the cellophane noodles into 1-inch pieces with scissors. Set aside.

3. Slice the chicken breast and pork into thin strips.

4. Bring the chicken broth and water to a boil. Add the chicken, pork, black and tree ear mushrooms, and cook until all ingredients are cooked through and softened. Add the cellophane noodles, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper and salt to taste.

5. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water to make a thick slurry. Return the soup to a boil, stir in the cornstarch mixture and beaten egg and mix well. Remove from heat and serve in small bowls.

[@elinashatkin / eshatkin@laweekly.com]


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