Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 334

Soup Vi Ca (Shark's Fin Soup): Ok, I'll be honest. I really wasn't looking forward to trying today's new food. I discovered it during my last trip to the Great Wall Supermarket in Duluth, and I bought it solely based on its shock factor alone. I usually prefer to try dishes like this in a restaurant that's good at such things, but for now, this canned version had to suffice. It wasn't so much that I didn't want to try the dish itself, but the picture on the can, featuring a odd looking bisected shark fin, wasn't exactly winning me over.

Since this was the last food I had stockpiled, I had no choice but to try it today. The ingredients listed shark fin, oyster mushroom, artificial chicken flavor, oyster sauce, and some spices. Once I opened the can, I poured the contents into a plastic bowl for microwaving, and to say it looked unappetizing was an understatement. I've had the misfortune lately of eating a lot of new foods that look like vomit, and this was no exception. However, I try to not judge anything based on its appearance, so I heated it up and gave it a shot.
Once I got it hot, the vomit vibe was lessened a bit, but I noticed a lot of strange stuff going on aside from that. The shark fin looked like small pieces of white fish, but the truly disturbing thing was the hair-like tendrils floating in the broth that came off the fin. They looked like little eyelashes. In addition, there were a couple large chunks of oyster mushroom (the black pieces in the pic) that were probably the least disturbing things in the mix.
Oh, right - the taste. The broth was sort of like a fishier-tasting chicken stock, and the pieces of shark fin were actually pretty tender. They tasted a lot like any mild white fish, but the odd hair-like connective pieces (bottom pic) had a gelatinous texture that I just couldn't appreciate. I'll pass on the rest of those, thanks. The oyster mushrooms were the best thing about it, and they actually retained a firmness that I wasn't expecting from a canned soup.
This wasn't as scary as I was expecting, but not exactly tasty, either. I'd be willing to give it a shot in a restaurant, but I doubt I'll finish the rest of this.

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