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!