Steer clear of shark in the water and on your plate in Hong Kong
Hong Kong accounts for 50% of the world market for shark. The expensive shark’s-fin soup, considered by locals to be an aphrodisiac, is made with the great beast’s pectal, dorsal, and lower tail fins. Not only are there environmental and moral issues involved, but the soup has very little flavor, making it one of the biggest wastes of money in the culinary universe. See our top picks for dining in Hong Kong.
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I feel for the "env. & moral issues" surrounding shark fin. However, I simply can' t get over the "soup has very little flavor" comment. I stopped eating shark fin years ago - but, when I used to consume it, it was almost always for the culinary qualities of the soup. I had no clue about the supposed aphrodisiac and frankly it always occurred to me that if people were eating it for some reason beyond taste, it was more that shark fin soup was one of those sticker-shock dishes. People seemed to order it as a special treat and/or status symbol.
Issues aside, re the fin, I think the texture adds to the soup, but the recipe itself is worthy sans fin. My beau recently had it in Fook Lam Moon and though entirely unfamiliar w/ shark fin and probably unlikely to ever acquire a taste for it, he was floored by the soup.
I can't support the fishing practices but it is not without sadness that I skip shark fin soup.
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