A Shark Fin Squash Soup Recipe 鱼翅瓜汤

  1. Homemade Chinese Soups
  2. Asian vegetables
  3. Shark fin squash soup

Shark fin squash soup is made from a vegetable, a squash. It is NOT shark fin soup. 

Shark fin squash (scientific name: Cucurbita ficifolia) 鱼翅瓜 (yu chi gua) has many different names. It is a relative of the winter melon. Why is it called the shark fin squash? How is it related to the shark?

You see, when it is cooked, the flesh flakes into thin shreds that look like shark fin. This is similar to the spaghetti squash where the shreds resemble spaghetti. The biggest difference between shark fin squash and spaghetti squash is the colour. Spaghetti squash is yellow in colour.

The shark fin squash contains loads of vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber. It is low in calories and has a detoxifying effect. It is said to have high D-Chiro-Inositol content and therefore good for diabetes.

The Chinese like to use these shreds to make soup that is similar to shark fin's soup.

I have heard that it is quite easy to grow in a garden too.

Recipe 1: Vegetarian shark fin squash soup

I seldom cook with shark fin squash as they are not so common in the supermarket. So I only have one recipe here.

You can make this soup more flavourful by using a vegetable stock.


  • 500g shark fin squash
  • 50g bamboo shoot
  • 30g celery
  • 8 Chinese mushrooms
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch solution


  • Salt and sugar
  • Sesame seed oil
  • Pepper


  1. Wash and cut the shark fin squash cross-wise. Remove seeds and pulp
  2. Steam till cooked. Approximately 30-45 minutes. Alternatively, bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F for about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a fork, remove the flesh. It should flake into thin strands and look like shark fins or noodles.
  4. Wash and julienne the Chinese mushrooms, bamboo shoot and celery
  5. Place the Chinese mushrooms, bamboo shoots and celery into the water in a soup pot
  6. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes 
  7. When the mushrooms, bamboo shoots and celery are cooked, add the shark fin squash
  8. Cook everything for a further 15-20 minutes
  9. Add the seasoning to taste
  10. Thicken the soup with the cornstarch
  11. Stir in the egg

Video Tutorials

This video tutorial shows you how to make a shark fin squash soup that is both vegetarian and thickened.

It closely resembles the shark fin soup that so many restaurants serve and so many people boycott. The texture and taste is close to the real thing except all the ingredients are vegetarian. 

The video is in Mandarin but I think it is easy to take note of the ingredients and how the soup is made. 

This next video showcased a stay-at-home mum who used a pressure cooker to make a simmered shark fin squash soup with pork.

I like her approach. My kind of home cook. 

Happy Souping, Phoebe

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