Recipe for Shark's Fin With Bamboo Fungus


635 gm dried shark's fin *
12 bamboo fungi (all similar size, abo; ut 4 gms each)
12 small crab claws
1 cup stock
12 coriander sprigs (for garnish)
12 asparagus (all similar size, about; 1.5 g each)
150 gm bean sprouts
1 cooking oil
1 salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger juice
3/4 cup minced shrimp meat (approx. 1 20 g)
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 salt
2 ginger root slices
2 shallots
1 tablespoon chinese yellow wine (or sherry)
150 gm crab roe
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cup stock
1 tablespoon shredded chinese cured ham


* (note: there is no suitable substitute for shark's fin)

This is some serious food++as most of these recipes are. They are the creations of one of the most intense culinary environments in the world and the competition is fierce. I've never seen the Bamboo Fungus called for in this soup in any of the Asian markets I've been in and preparing a Shark's Fin is not for the impatient.

Establishment: Bui Hang Village Restaurant (Hotel Miramar) UG/F., Princess Wing, Hotel Miramar, 130 Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon.

Chinese Cuisine Practical Class Platinum Award - Shark's Fin "Gossamer curtains veiling exquisite feminine shadows" would be a justifiably poetical translation for the mood-setting name of this dish. The bamboo fungus, a deluxe vegetarian ingredient with almost mystical connotations, is envisaged as a curtain of delicate fibres, through which the beguilingly beautiful forms of the superlative shark's fin can be glimpsed. Red Mayflowers (denoted by the crab roe) are "embroidered" on the curtains, adding a third level of appetizing connotations.

To prepare 1. Soak, shark's fin for 4 hours in cold water, and then simmer over medium heat for 10 hours. 2. Clean bamboo fungi and soak in cold water for 3 to 4 hours. 3. Steam-clean crab claws for approximately 3 minutes on plate on wok stand above boiling water. 4. Make shrimp paste by mixing shrimp meat with cornstarch and pinch of salt.

To cook 1. Mix simmering ingredients with water (sufficient to cover fin) and bring to the boil. Add cooled shark's fin and boil for 5 minutes. Dram well and stuff inside bamboo fungi. 2. Arrange stuffed fungi on a deep plate. Mix 1 cup of stock and 1/4 tsp of salt and pour over fungi. Cover and steam for 15 minutes. 3. Coat each claw with 10 g of shrimp paste, garish with a sprig of coriander, place in a deep plate, cover and steam for 3 minutes. 4. Add 1 cup oil to heated wok, then add asparagus and saute for 30 seconds. Drain and place asparagus in 3 cups of salted water and simmer until just cooked. Drain and refresh with cold water. 5. Stir-fry bean sprouts in a heated wok with 1 tbs oil, 1/2 tsp salt and ginger juice until half-cooked, but still crunchy. Remove from wok. 6. To make crab roe sauce, add water, cornstarch and salt to stock. Over a high flame, bring to the boil. Add crab roe and bring to the boil again (at which point presentation platter should be ready for this sauce).

To present 1. Arrange stuffed bamboo fungi like spokes of a wheel, pointing inwards on serving dish. Lay asparagus and crab claws between them. 2. Pour freshly boiled crab roe sauce over dish. Pile bean sprouts in centre, top with shredded ham.

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