San Francisco chef creates faux shark fin soup

shark fin soup
Fin-free "shark fin" soup

According to an article from The New Yorker, San Franciso chef Corey Lee has created his version of “shark fin soup” that doesn’t use shark fins in the recipe. Lee worked with food scientists to develop an alternative method to create the “shark fin texture” The method involves using hydrocolloids in the broth to achieve the desired texture which Lee described as being “gelatinous and brittle” at the same time.

Lee’s version of the soup, which is served at his Benu restaurant, received approval from renown chef Cecelia Chiang. The New Yorker reports that Chiang, who is credited with bringing Northern Chinese cooking to America, had no idea that the soup was not made with shark fins.

You can check out the full story at The New Yorker’s Culture Desk.


  1. Richard says:

    Not making fun of it, but it almost sounds like the concept behind fake cigarettes for people addicted to tobacco. Will it really sway people to eat the alternative?? They eat it because they think it has special powers to it, which I think is ridiculous. I only wish that an alternative soup would be convincing enough.

  2. Fallopia Tuba says:

    There’s been a version of vegan shark fin soup for several years at Buddha Bodai in New York City; I have no idea how it compares to “real” shark fin soup, but it’s quite wonderful; I got it the other day.

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