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December 24, 2020 – 1:14 pm | One Comment | 4,011 views

Soup Name:  Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Traditional Chinese Name: 清雞湯 (qīng jī tāng)

Introduction: This is the base Chinese Chicken Soup stock that …

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Home » Ingredients, Seafood

Shark Bones or Cartilage (Dried)

Submitted by on December 27, 2008 – 3:02 am4 Comments | 13,749 views

Ingredient Name: Shark Bones or Cartilage (Dried)
Traditional Chinese Name: 翅 (yú qí)
What is this?
  • The shark fin is usually the cartilaginous pectoral and dorsal fins of a shark
  • Shark’s bone is sold either as dried or frozen
  • Shark’s fin soup (which is more transparent) is eaten as a delicacy in the Chinese culture and is known to be expensive due to its rarity

How do I prepare it?

  • For shark’s bones, just rinse under warm water before usage
  • You need to soak shark’s fin in water prior to usage.  The best is to soak it in warm water overnight and you may need to change the water a few times depending on how clean you want it to be

Where can I buy this?

  • These days, only in Chinese herbal stores and wet marts
  • You won’t be able to find this delicacy in supermarkets

What is the cost?

  • The cost varies depending on the quality and size of the shark’s fin and can range from anywhere between $50 – $100 CAD a piece

Any benefits?

  • It is said that the cartilage is a good source of collagen, which helps improve the elasticity of the skin

Any precautions?

  • The shark fin trade is a highly controversial topic as the numbers of shark’s are decreasing since they are over hunted for their fin
  • Many wildlife groups and activists are against the trade as hunters only take the shark for their fins and then discard the rest of the animal
  • Due to its rarity, you have to be careful that you are purchasing authentic shark’s fin
  • Shark’s fin has limited nutrition and has virtually no flavour when cooked without broth or soup.  It is the soup base that make’s shark’s fin soup so flavorful
  • Since the shark is a relatively large in size, its mercury content can be quite high and it is not recommend that children or pregnant women eat any large fish from the ocean

I am not a fan of shark’s bones, fins or cartilage.  I have eaten it before and do not eat it now because it provides no real nutritional value and it costs too much.  There are healthier soups!  Now you know!


  • Robert says:

    Do you have any suggestions for a substitute for shark fin. All I can find is powdered from a herbal medicine supplier(it is 100% shark fin). I am planning on making Fat Tiu Cheung, and it is one of the ingredients.

  • Greg says:

    Mmm. Endangered species are so delicious.

  • Long Duck Dong says:

    Hey Soup Lady, I hope you rot in hell for promoting the killing of sharks just for their fins. People like you have done such a great job killing sharks at such high speed that if we are all not careful, there’s not going to be any sharks left. Great way to upset the ecology of the planet. Nice job, bitch.

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Long Duck Dong, for starters, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it. And secondly, I don’t think you quite read the description. I am a NON-advocate of killing sharks or the methods by which they are harvested. The question in problem isn’t the hunting of sharks, but the methods in which they are hunted and then thrown back into the ocean. As well, the hunting of sharks is actually a way of life for some people, it’s just when you go overboard and the breed becomes endangered or extinct that it becomes a problem. Do your research and then when you have something smarter to say, say it.

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