Shark’s Fin Melon Soup

Shark's Fin Melon Soup

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Shark's Fin Melon Soup I am cooking shark’s fin melon soup! NOT shark’s fin + melon soup, but soup made with shark’s fin melon … so don’t worry, no sharks were killed in the making of this soup. As you may have guessed, shark’s fin melon got its name from its resemblance to shark’s fin, a popular and exorbitantly expensive Chinese delicacy. When cooked (see photo on right), the strands of the melon separate a little, resembling cooked shark’s fin, hence the name of this melon. Shark’s fin melon is cheap – I bought a piece of melon for only S$1.50. I was told that real shark’s fin on its own has no nutrition value and no taste, and the overall taste of the shark’s fin soup comes from its earthy broth of chicken, crab and other ingredients. This melon, on the other hand, is packed with lots of taste and nutrients, even my mum swears by the health benefits of this soup. If I am selling this soup, my sales pitch will be that “this soup is more nutritional and much, much cheaper than real sharks fin soup”.

You May Also Like: Imitation (Fake) Fin Soup Recipe

In Singapore, this melon is labeled as ‘Shark’s Fin Melon’ (鱼翅瓜). The flesh resembles winter melon but the green skin covering looks entirely different. According to Wiki, in other countries especially in the west, the other names of this melon are spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo), vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, Spaghetti Marrow (in the UK) , squaghetti or Sharkfin Melon (鱼翅瓜). However, spaghetti squash and the other names may not be a 100% accurate translation, though it gives a good start. According to readers comments, the spaghetti squash in the west is sort of yellow/orange outside and inside. There may be a slight variation of breed from location to location.

Shark's Fin Melon
Shark’s Fin Melon (L: removing seeds with a spoon, R: cut into chunks)

Ingredients for making Shark's Fin Melon Soup

Shark's Fin Melon Soup Recipe

The key ingredients are pork ribs, melon, wolfberries and red dates. The rest of the ingredients are optional, feel free to adapt or omit according to what you have in your pantry.


  • 1200ml water
  • a small piece of shark’s fin melon (about 500-700g before skin & seeds removed)
  • 200g pork ribs (or half chicken, skin removed and cut to small pieces)
  • 2 honey red dates
  • 6 red dates
  • 1 tbsp wolfberries soaked in a bowl of water until puffy, drained
  • 1 tsp bitter almonds (optional)
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and sliced
  • 1 sweet corn, cut to chunks


  1. Cut and discard the skin from the shark’s fin melon, scoop out the seeds using a spoon and cut the melon to big chunks.
  2. Blanch the pork ribs in a pot of water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Place the blanched pork ribs, cut melon chunks and the rest of the ingredients (except wolfberries) into a pot with the water. Bring to a boil, continue boiling over high heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to a lower flame and simmer for at least another 40 minutes. Add wolfberries at the last 15 minutes of cooking. You can also slow cook, or use a thermal pot continue slow cooking to bring out the sweetness of the soup.

Noob Cook Tip

Honey red dates sweeten the soup. I added both red dates and honey red dates because I have both. You can use only one type.

Who’s Also Cooking it
For an alternative way of cooking this soup, check out wokkingmum’s version, whereby she added cornflour solution to make it more starchy and this way of cooking bears even more resemblance to shark’s fin soup. Very interesting and creative!