Many Hong Kong whelk soup recipes use meat, even Michelin 3 stars Lung King Heen!

  1. Can I make soup or stock with just whelks and vegetarian ingredients? I don't want meat!

  2. When I skipped meat in this recipe, theresultant soup taste weird and fishy. Why? What can I add or replace?

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I live in Toronto. Supermarkets here carry Canada whelks. I don't know if the issue is the whelks. Are Hong Kong whelks different from Canada whelks?

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  • 2
    The kind of whelk you'll find in Chinese soups are typically dried in slices, like those in the back of the second photo in the second recipe you linked, called 響螺片, whereas the Canadian whelks you seem to be purchasing look to be cooked already and for direct consumption. Besides, if you want a vegetarian soup, why are you adding whelks, which are not vegetarian?
    – mbjb
    Jun 6, 2020 at 3:46
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    @mestackoverflow plenty of people are pescatarian (OK, whelks aren't fish but pescatarian diets often accept seafood). There's nothing strange about wanting the whelks and vegetarian ingredients, any more than there would be accepting chicken but not beef. At no point did the OP say they wanted a vegetarian dish
    – Chris H
    Jun 6, 2020 at 11:29
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    The recipe that you linked to that you implied you were using said to use dried whelk. The first recipe said you use fresh whelk. The package in your picture is neither -- it's cooked. I don't know significantly drying changes flavor, but I would expect there to be some change (like with mushrooms or bonito). I would recommend looking for an oriental market that might have dried whelk, but you could also try adding kombo, dried mushrooms, or other vegetables to improve the flavor.
    – Joe
    Jun 6, 2020 at 14:00

1 Answer 1

  1. yes, you can just use vegetables and seafood for you recipe, the result will be different; you can use a strong vegetarian broth or a seafood/fish stock.

  2. If using only vegetarian and fish/seafood ingredients, it will taste fishy; that's the point, isn't it ? Depending on the base stock (vegetarian or fish), you might get different results.

About whelk, I've got no experience cooking with them, I only use brined ones and eat them as-is.

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