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Talking About Sharksfin Cooking Ways

by: Huisheng Hua

Shenyang China: Liaoning Ke Shu Publisher 2002, Paperback
ISBN: 7-5381-3707-6

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 2006 Issue: 13(2) page(s): 25 and 26

Author of several books, unfortunately none yet located in English, Suzhou-born Chef Hua worked in hotels there and in Nanjing, later in Singapore, Hong Kong, and many other places. This often awarded chef, in this book, shares information, but only in Chinese, about various kinds of shark fins, their qualities, and how to handle them. After them are forty-nine recipes, all bi-lingual, for main dishes, soups, dessert, and side dishes. Each recipe has a full-color photograph of its completed dish and three to five smaller ones of steps in its preparation. Every recipe has one or two items of advice about its preparation.

Shark's fins are very expensive. We were impressed by the detail and deliciousness of these recipes. Reading them is an education about the use of this honorific food ingredient. Most recipes use other common ingredients, so making them is a possibility. A few use monkey-head mushrooms, also known as the hedge-hog mushroom, or fake shark's fins. In one, make one's own red potato starch noodles with long thin Chinese yams and chicken fat; it is particularly delicious.

Typical recipes include Sharksfin with Fresh Sea Crab Meat in Thick Soup; Dry Stewed Supreme Shark's Fin served with delicious soup; Stewed Crab Claw & Sharksfin; Baked Mashed Potato and Sharksfin; Stewed Sharksfin and Chinese Frog Oviduct Fat; Steamed Mandarin Duck Dumpling; and Stuffed Pigeon with Sharksfin. Most Chinese cooks do not know how to prepare shark's fins or make imitation ones successfully. You can using this small volume.
Sharks Fin with Fresh Sea Crab Meat in Thick Soup
1 pound shark’s fin
1/2 teaspoon ginger juice, divided into two equal amounts
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder, divided into two equal batches
4 teaspoons Chinese rice wine
1/4 pound fresh crab meat, all cartilage removed
6 cups supreme chicken stock
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon Chinese rice wine
dash ground white pepper
3 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with two tablespoons cold water
1. Bring half the ginger juice to a boil, stir in the shark's fins. Pour into heat proof bowl, add half the bouillon powder and all the wine and two Tablespoons water and steam for fifteen minutes. Using a fork, carefully separate the strands of shark’s fin, and pour into a wok.
2. Scald the crab meat with the other half of ginger juice and one cup of boiling water, then drain all liquid and put crab meat into a wok.
3. Add chicken stock, salt, the half teaspoon of rice wine, the other half of the chicken bouillon powder and ground white pepper. Bring to the boil, and immediately add the cornstarch water and stir for half minute; then serve.

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