- Travel Home
- Travel News
Better than the real thing: Hong Kong's imitation shark's fin
Three of the best bowls of imitation shark's fin in Hong Kong show us why it is so easy to give up the controversial Chinese dish
Hong Kongers love shark's fin soup so much, they'll make a fake version for people who can't afford the genuine decadent deal.
Called "wun tsai chi" in Cantonese, the name literally means "shark's fin in a little bowl." It's a rich velvety soup made with vegetarian ingredients.
In the 1950s and 1960s, when the working class couldn't afford to eat the luxury dish of real shark's fin, they were consoled by these imitation bowls. These day, it may appeal to shark advocates who don't want shark's fin on the menu anymore.
Most commonly used ingredients are mushrooms, different typres of fungi, vermicelli, bean curd sheets and all the things that can be jullienned to resemble the al dente texture of shark's fin. The soup is a thick, rich concoction of meat or mushroom stock.
Today, imitation shark's fin is a snack food that can be found everywhere from fast food restaurants to specialty stores. A few are made with especial care -- here are the best bowls.