By Paojel Chaoba
IMPHAL,April 22: One of the main attractions at the Chinjak Festival is Shark Fin soup, introduced by the Singapore Stall.
Chetta Kun, a restaurateur and running the stall at the festival told IFP, that the locals are very interested in trying out the soup.
“It is very time consuming to make this soup, it takes me more than 24 hours to prepare this dish”, stating that he is still experimenting to cater to the taste buds of the locals. He said that the visitors are intrigued by the “Shark Soup”.
The Singapore stall’s main attraction is the soup and earlier had bird nest’s soup.
“The people did not agree with the bird nest soup, so I stopped cooking that one and focusing on the other soup instead”, he said.
Kun further stated that this is his first time in Manipur and loves interacting with the people. The expensive fish at home costs very less here and there are so much similar vegetables found in the market. “Its even better than home”, he said candidly.
The soup cost a hundred rupee per 200 ml cup and has a snappy, gelatinous taste.
Momo Akoiojam, a student of class X told IFP, “ It’s great that we can taste this soup, now we don’t need to go to other countries to taste the delicacies, the food festival is super”, he exclaimed.
The shark soup consists of shark fin, different mushrooms and chicken stock with other oriental herbs.
Bobo Khuraijam, a writer with a bowl of soup in his hand said ,“ Its good and tastes like Ngakra, the shark we see in film like ‘Jaws’ eats people. So, I was intrigued and wanted to taste the fish”.
It may be mentioned that, Shark fin soup dates back to Ming Dynasty China and is considered by Chinese as one of the eight treasured foods from the sea. The popularity of shark fin soup rose in the late 18th and early 19th centuries as standards of living began to improve.The delicacy was coveted by emperors because it was rare, delicious, and required elaborate preparation.Holding both culinary and symbolic significance, the dish is popular at important occasions such as weddings, banquets, and important business deals. It symbolizes wealth, power, prestige and honor.This staple of gourmet Chinese cuisine is a show of respect, honor, and appreciation to the guests
Chinese culture has lauded shark fins` alleged properties to boost sexual potency, enhance skin quality, increase one`s qi or energy, prevent heart disease, and lower cholesterol.
It is documented in old Chinese medical books that shark fin`s helps in areas of rejuvenation, appetite enhancement, blood nourishment and is beneficial to vital energy, kidneys, lungs, bones and many other parts of the body.
Shark fin soup (or shark`s fin soup) is a popular soup item of Chinese cuisine usually served at special occasions such as weddings and banquets, or as a luxury item in Chinese culture.The shark fins provide texture while the taste comes from the other soup ingredients.