Can You Fake Shark's Fin? A Taste Test

Wild osetra, now that it has almost disappeared from the Caspian Sea, has been replaced by farmed sturgeon roe with no loss of status. As I was writing this week's article about the proposed shark fin ban, I wondered: Can anything substitute for the luxury ingredient's marvelous texture?

At Benu, Corey Lee has come up with a faux-fin soup that made it onto SFoodie's 2011 list of our favorite dishes. Part of his 12-course tasting menu, the soup is a grand and subtle dish that captures the silky chew of the fin. Despite the fact that the effect is created by using a blend of gelling agents to create filaments of broth, the black truffles and crab ensure that it's no less luxurious. Even your grandmother would be impressed.

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