Monday, September 22, 2008

Pork Soup with Shark Bone and Seaweed (Chinese Soup #1)

[Revised to add]
Please note we bought and made this soup prior to knowing how devastating the practice of shark finning is to the current population of sharks and to the ecology of the oceans. This was, in fact, the only instance we have prepared anything with shark bones. Apart from this soup (whose shark bone came already pre-packaged with the rest of the ingredients), we're happy to say we have not partook of any shark fin products and will continue to abstain from it.

To our then and future anonymous commenters who wish to speak on this topic, I would appreciate it if you would be courageous enough to publish a name. I would also appreciate it if you could keep the conversation civil.

For information on shark finning, a good film to watch would be Sharkwater by Rob Stewart.

While perusing the aisles of our favorite Chinese supermarkets, we always wonder about these "convenience" packs for soup-making that we see. See, we (or Mama) don't really make these types of Chinese soups at home, the types with the "weirdo" things in it like honey date, dried longan, beans and whatnot.

Basically, these were very exotic for me! ;)

convenience food, Chinese-style

I just find it somewhat amusing that the "convenience packs" this Chinese supermarket has still require about an hour or two to cook. It's not something you can plop into the microwave 5 minutes before you want to eat and have it ready. Guess if the particular defect we have is poor planning then we're out of luck. ;)

Curiosity got the better of me and I had to have one of these packs. Problem is, which one? There were so many to choose from! Even though I knew that we would have to eat similar soups two days in a row, I went ahead and chose 2 packs. This is the first.

"Shark Bone Seaweed with Pork"

This pack had pork and pork backbone, seaweed, peanuts, mung beans, honey dates, dried longans, dried orange peel, and shark fin.

Look! Wow! It's a blood tonic (I don't know what that means) and helps prevent cancer! Cool. I originally wanted something to help cool "hot" (yang) from the body but I eventually chose this (and another one).

I like how the directions assume you know how to cook soup. That is, it didn't need to specify a stockpot size or how much water to add.

Oh, by the way, this pack was less than $7.00, but look at all that meat! I ended up slicing the pork meat but left the bones alone.

The rest of the "exotic" ingredients. ;)


shark fin/bone

dried orange peel

honey date

mung beans (green bean)


dried longans
(Our mother eats these as a snack.)

There they are all dumped into a pot. As per the instructions, I added water (to cover) and let it come to a boil. Then I covered and simmered it until done (when the meat is tender).


Convenient Chinese Soup!

The soup had a familiar pork broth taste (pork bone soup/ma-kut soup being one of Mama's favorite things to cook) and a "sweetness" to it. This is one of those soups that are served as the "house soup" in homier Chinese restaurants.

My only complaint was the sharkbone: it smelled so fishy! (Malansa.) Ech. And somehow, cooking it in the soup did not really get rid of its fishiness. This could've been left out altogether.

Otherwise, it was good. For about seven bucks, you get a whole lot of soup... and meat! Just add rice to it and it's a meal.


Pork Soup with Shark Bone and Seaweed (Chinese Soup #1)
Pork Soup with Hairy Gourd and Peanuts (Chinese Soup #2)


  1. Shark bone????? I've never heard of it at all....

  2. I've only eaten shark fin, never shark bone. Interesting.

    I probably would have tried one of those soup packets too just b/c I like trying things like that. The only packets I've seen are dried stuff though.

  3. Whew, for a while there I was experiencing blog-withdrawal symptoms. I missed your everyday posts. Glad to see you back. :-)

    I always see those meat soup packages at T&T. But I always thought I can make it cheaper by buying the individual ingredients. Now I realize that you do get a good deal with the pre-packaged meat soup. Thanks for the post.

  4. Wow! I have all the ingredients (Except shark bone) on hand, maybe I can try this tomorrow! You got a good deal on these prepackages. Maybe you should have added ginger so it will not be malansa. :)

  5. This does look like a really fulfilling meal. It's a bit exotic for me - but, let's just say I would probably give it a try.


  6. you are daring. actually it all sounds good for me except the shark fin, my dad got food poisoning from a shark fin soup in Toronto once & its scared me since

  7. wow now you are cooking Chinese soups! That's a lot of goodness in the soup, it must be very sweet ^^ I love chinese soups because it's so easy... perfect for cooking noobs like me hehe

  8. i would never have pegged the orange peel.

    how's your blood feeling today, invigorated?

  9. I agree. I made that soup too and it did smelled fishy. My favourite is the watercrest one. It is brewing as we speak.

    Then it's the one with melon and carrots for its sweetness. I also just like eating the pork bones with soy sauce.

    The chicken feet one was gelatinous and fatty. I plan on trying the black chicken one some day. My parents ended up buying a bunch of funky Chinese stuff for me and then combined them in zip loc bags. I just need to add pork bones. I have enough to be set for life.

    Kelly ;)

    p.s hope the moving is going well


  10. Christy / W Chopsticks:
    I guess it's just the bonier part of the fin. I don't think it's edible. It was just there for flavor.

    Haha, nice to know we're wanted. I think about 5 posts per week should be good. In any case, I was (still kinda am) sick...

    We figured we should get those packs first... to "learn". Hehe.

    We've always eaten shark's fin. Don't know about this "bone" business. Maybe it was from some other thing during the dinner?

    Know what? When we saw the resulting soups, we were like, "Hey! It looks like the Chinese soups noobcook makes! =)

    michelle @ TNS:
    I forgot to check when we ate it, hehe. I need it NOW/today because I'm sick NOW.

    Dried orange peel is used a lot in Chinese cooking.

  11. Shark Finning is a deplorable practice and creating a demand for fins is only worsening the problem. It is destroying our oceans and needs to be stopped.

  12. This recipe is supporting an evil and hugely ecologically damaging practice and should be removed immediately. I can't believe anyone would be ignorant enough to make this.


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