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Vegetarian Shark Fin Soup (素魚翅羮)

Category: Soup
Region: Cantonese


  • 7 ounces konnyaku Japanese yam cake, preferably with seaweed powder
  • 4 ounces bamboo shoots
  • 2 ounces dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 2 ounces dried kelp
  • 4 cups vegetarian stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Cornstarch slurry made from 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water


  • 12 oz. mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup Chinkiang black vinegar


  • Prepare the vegetarian stock according to the recipe in my previous post.
  • Reconstitute both the wood ear mushrooms and the kelp in warm water for about 15 minutes. In the meantime julienne the konnyaku cake and the bamboo shoots into very fine shreds. Set aside. Julienne both the wood ear mushrooms and the kelp in very fine shreds as well. Be sure to cut the kelp against the grain. Set aside.
  • Clip both ends of the mung bean sprouts and keep only the crunchy white part. Known as “silver sprout” or yin ya (銀芽), these sprouts regularly accompany shark fin soup. Blanch them in boiling water for just about a minute. Drain and set aside.
  • After straining the vegetarian stock, bring the liquid to a boil in a large pot. Add all the ingredients for the soup except the egg and cornstarch slurry. Simmer the soup for about 20 minutes then add the cornstarch slurry and continue to cook until the broth thickens. Beat the egg in a bowl. Swirl the egg into the soup and keep cooking for another minute or two, or until the egg is completely cooked. Serve the soup piping hot with silver sprouts and Chinkiang black vinegar.