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Updated: investinchina.chinadaily.com.cn


Wenchang Chicken [Photo/www.hainan.gov.cn]

With the rapid development of Hainan, there is also more and more food with Hainan characteristics appearing at home and abroad, representing the rich and colorful culture of Hainan.

Hainan is rich in food ingredients. The food culture of Hainan reflects the abundance of seafood in the surrounding waters as well as the rich sources of natural ingredients on-land, many of which grow or roam wild in the lush farmlands and jungles of the interior.

Hainan food has its roots in the food of farmers and fishermen, and makes use of simple, healthy ingredients, with its flavors often being lighter and more delicate than those dishes of neighboring provinces. Nevertheless, watch out for the yellow chilies which are commonly used as a condiment, though, as they are neither light nor delicate.

The following introduced are the famous Hainan dishes unique to the province and well worth ordering when visiting local restaurants in Hainan.

Wenchang Chicken

The precursor of the dish known around the world as Hainan Chicken, this dish comes from the city of Wenchang in the north of Hainan Island. The chickens used in the dish are raised free-range in the Wenchang area and fed a diet of bran and coconut. Traditionally, the bird is boiled in stock, and the meat is served sliced on the bone. The meat is usually served with several dips and sauces.

Hele Crab

Hele Crab is originated from the town of Hele, near Wanning, where the locally-reared crabs have rich, oily meat is usually steamed and served with ginger and a garlic and vinegar sauce.

Jiaji Duck

The ducks used in this dish are traditionally raised in the Qionghai area on a diet of bran and tofu. They can be served steamed, boiled, or roasted.

Dongshan Lamb

The meat in this dish is actually not a lamb but goat, sourced from livestock reared at Dongshan Ridge near Wanning. The meat is usually roasted or braised in coconut milk.

Local street snacks

Among the wide variety of cuisines and unique local specialties on offer in Hainan, the humble bowl of rice noodles is probably the most commonly seen and easily enjoyed. The island is well known for its rice noodles commonly seen in street stands and small eateries, where a delicious bowl of noodles can be picked up for just a few yuan. There are many local variations of this basic dish – the four most well-known are Baoluo Rice Noodles, Hainan Rice Noodles, Hou’an Rice Noodles, Gangmen Rice Noodles, and Lingshui Sour Rice Noodles.

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