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Friday, August 20, 2010

Poor Man's Fried 'Shark's Fin' - 平民桂花翅

Gui Hua 1

Tea Cup 2

When I was living in Guangzhou, China a few years ago, one of my favourite Cantonese dish was what they called Guai Fa Chi (桂花翅) literally translated to mean Osmanthus Sharks Fin. The Osmanthus really denotes the fried eggs used in the dish. Scrambled to golden yellow crumbs, the eggs resemble the tiny flowers of the Osmanthus plant and for those who are not familiar with the Osmanthus flowers, you must , you must try to look for them at Chinese Tea house next time. Less initmidating than rose and more elegant than Jasmine, the sweet, demure fragrance of the Osmanthus is one of my favourite scents.

I have eaten this dish at many restuarants in China - the more glitzy of which would use real shark's fin for this dish while the less fancy eating outlets would substitute the shark's fin with green bean vermicelli, (transparent noodle) 粉丝 another one of my favourite food - thus the name, Poor man's Fried Sharksfin.

Gui Hua 8

Both tastes equally good when done correctly - which really isn't suprising when you consider that Shark's Fin is really tasteless. What is important when substituting with vermicelli though, is to make sure that the transparent noodle does not get over cooked. Softening the noodles excessively will render it brittle and take the 'gelantinous bite' out of it. 

Gui Hua 6

A successful attempt at should yield noodles that is fried relatively dry. The bottom of the plate, should not be wet or too oily.

Traditionally, duck eggs would be used to augment the fragrance of the fried eggs. However, this is not accessible to me and therefore I substituted with chicken eggs. Poor Man or otherwise, this is a simple but tasty dish - and since I have chosen to abstain from eating Shark's fins, I couldn't be more happy to be a Poor Man.

Gui Hua (100)
Recipe : ( Adapted from 真味香港菜)

Transparent Glass Noodles                 50g
Ham (or crab meat)                            30g
Bean Sprouts                                      A handful
Eggs                                                   2
Salt                                                    1/2 tsp
Chicken Stock                                    1/2 cup
Oil                                                      1 tbsp

1. Soak transparent glass noodles in cold water for 5-10 mins until softened. Cut the glass noodles with scissors to about 6-7cm.
2. Slice ham into thin strips.
3. Blanch bean sprouts in hot water for 1 min.
4. Break eggs seperately into 2 separate bowls. Season with a little soya sauce.
5. Heat wok and add a little oil.  Pour in 1st egg into wok and scramble quickly over low heat with four chopsticks. Remove from heat, dish out and set aside.
6. Heat 1 tbsp oil in heated wok, fry ham until fragrant. Add  (1). Fry quickly in the wok. While frying the noodles, slowly add in chicken stock and salt. Simmer a little to let noodles absorb the flavour. Continue to fry until noodles is a little dry.
7. Slowly add in the 2nd egg. Frying to ensure the eggs get cooked and noodles become quite dry.
8. Add bean sprouts and scrambled eggs and fry for another 30sec.
9. Dish out and serve with rice or eat on its own.


WendyinKK said...

I've done this too... but not yet posted, but I think it'll be quite soon.
I also mentioned that it's poor man's shark fin, hehehehe.

I think if you add some 'green" to this, it'll look perfect. Love how plump those beansprouts are :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Wah, Wendy, you have to post it soon. I am sure adding something green would make the picture look good....

ICook4Fun said...

I actually bought a packet of frozen artificial shark fins and it is still sitting in the freezer. Not sure what to do with it. Do you think I can use it for this dish rather than using the glass noodles?

busygran said...

I prefer and enjoy the poor man's dish to the real shark's fin. I like the taugay in it! Yum!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Of course, Gert!Go ahead and try this - should work beautifully :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

I can have this anyway over the real thing. ;) I can imagine the crisp bean sprouts over the noodle and fragrant eggs, yummy! A wonderful daily need to be rich for sure. ;)

Passionate About Baking said...

Hi Shirley,
I'm always amazed by your posts. You made simple food looked like those fit for emperor! Your pictures speak for itself. I would love to have this poor-man-fried-sharksfin anytime too! I'm also like you, abstain from eating Shark's fin. :)

ann low said...

Hi Shirley, Thanks for sharing this delicious post. I must try this when I'm free.

Zurin said...

This looks very good . I love taugih n su'on. I must try this..nevr knew there was a dish such as this. I love the gold accents frm the egg and the glassiness of the bean threads. Lovely.

tigerfish said...

Ok. One order of 平民桂花翅 for this poor woman here :) ....Looks like the real stuff anyway.

MaryMoh said...

What a smart way to cook the expensive shark fun dish!! I have to try this.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Looks soooooo good! My gosh, all I want is a plate of that now!!

Edith said...

Shirley I am so happy to hear that you too abstain from eating Shark's fin. This dish looks wonderful for us on a Friday menu. Thanks for sharing.

Bakericious said...

Shirley, this is the dish that I can definitely have a big big plate. I love glass noodle, I can even order dried fishball/prawn/mince meat glass noodles from noodle store. Some thinks that I am weird cos glass noodle normally use to fry or soup heeheehee..

Yours look so delicious, I am going to packet fried glass noodle later

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Shirley, thankyou for this. Mr NQN would love this as he refuses to eat shark's fin (because of the way the sharks are killed). So this would be a nice compromise! :)

pigpigscorner said...

Glass noodle is a great sub! Love this!

Carolyn Jung said...

Plus, your dish is a whole lot more environmentally correct with the pseudo shark's fin. Looks so delicious. Just want to dig my chopsticks into it.

Jo said...

This looks yummy and I salute you for not using the real stuff. I'm really not into eating shark's fin.

Kitchen Corner said...

I would love to try out this recipe because it's not very difficult to cook. The transparent rice noodles looks very much like the shark's fin. Thanks for sharing!

Anh said...

Great recipe! And I really like the idea of poor-man sharkfin! :)

emy said...

Thanks for sharing this!

I always loved this dish as a child whenever I attend the Seven Lunar month's dinners.

Never realized it's that easy to make!


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