How you wash and clean the dried processed shark fin (Shredded form) that sell in a packet? (Yeah, u need to soften it before cook)
Mum soak them in a clear water for half an hour. Then bring to boil for 20 minutes together with the water. After that, off the fire, let it remain in the hot pot for half an hour. Then clean it in cold water , ( again, the fins are not soften yet) so repeat the same steps, by soak, boil and clean. Usually mum will repeat them twice. ( so u can tell there's really a lot of tedious job here)
When comes to cleaning, is actually clean the 'meat' away from sticking the fins. So here u goes.
The key-ingredients for preparing this SFS is not about the fins, the secret all lies in the soup.
A bowl of superior premium soup is very important.
mum's superior soup ( for this time) is 2 chicken, 1 length of pork belly, few red dates, few dried scallops and dried squid. (She cooked 1 big pot of broth) (if you can notice, the colour of the soup from the below picture is actually quite muddy .. so U can imagine the taste is really "thick" and "strong" , means Slurrp! )
According to mum, when she learned this SFS from sifu, she was taught to prepare the soup, either u cook only pork bones soup , or chicken soup, so the soup base will be clear & nice, like those serve in restaurant. However, mum realised, if only to cook pork bones soup, there's this piggy smell, which spoilt the overall. so it's better to mix with chicken so to enhance the taste.
What you need for the SFS ?
After cleaning the fins & the soup base is ready, prepare some shredded crab meat and chicken meat. (or any other condiments u like, e.g. shredded abalone)
You will also need 2 egg whites , slightly beaten and put aside.
How you thicken the soup?
Last time, we used to use corn-flour , which is a failure!
Then the Promenade Hotel Chef said to use either Windmill brand Potato Starch or Waterchestnut flour.
(Waterchestnut flour photo by eatzybitzy)
We tried Windmill potato starch before, It was okay. Waterchestnut flour, that is good, However, when comes to dissolve the flour, it has lots of lumps! which my mum dislike, so we don't use it anymore.
Mum said the better one is still "Tapioca Starch/flour" . But!!!!! We searched for the flour so-last-minute on Chinese New Year Eve, and I bought the wrong one! I got her "Sago Flour"! She didnt notice it! and our Shark Fin Soup turned out good as well! so, in other words, U can use Sago Flour too! (I google, and found out, sago and tapioca flour can be used interchangeably!)
When we said better one, it means when u stir ur soup it wont dissolve into watery-soup so easily, and of cuz it wont hold the stickyness for long too, Just alright. (Of cuz no one will like gummy paste soup here...)
And, dont be so 'brainy' like me, half way i m eating, I reheat my sharkfinsoup with microwave, and guess what, my soup is hot (like what I wanted), but watery ! LOlz, mum just gimme a kind of look.
Heat up the soup. (Tips: my mum will measure the soup using bowl. If 5 persons having the soup, she will put 6 bowls of soup in another pot and heat it up. OF cuz this is to your likings. Such a high cholesterol soup , we limit to 1 person 1 bowl! haha)
Mix in starch-water in the soup. (no pic too! mum too fast in her action)
( I dont have the exact measurement here. mum's theory is, as long as the soup is 'thick' enough, then stop putting starch)
so may be start with 2 T of starch + 5 T of water and mix. (good luck! )
Stir in egg-whites.
When u drop in the egg-whites, to make a swirl-pattern .. make sure the soup is burning hot.
On a safe side, use a ladle (with holes) to drop the whites, like the picture. while u drop the whites, move the ladle around the soup surface.