Hainan cuisine

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Hainan cuisine (Chinese: 海南菜; pinyin: Hǎinán cài) is derived from the cooking styles of the peoples of Hainan province in China. The food is lighter, less oily, and more mildly seasoned than that of the Chinese mainland. Seafood predominates the menu, as shrimp, crab, and freshwater and ocean fish are widely available.

Porridge, mantou and baozi are eaten for breakfast, with a noodle dish also being widely eaten. This consists of fine, vermicelli-type noodles with various toppings and gravy. Along with lunch and dinner, late night outdoor barbecue dishes are also served.

Notable dishes[edit]

Name Image Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Pinyin Description
Hainan breakfast noodles Breakfast noodles in Haikou - 01.jpg 海南粉 This dish is common in Hainan. Noodles are served at room temperature with various toppings, most commonly tahini and roasted peanuts, or a thick meat gravy with thin strips of bamboo.
Hainan-style hot pot 海南火鍋 海南火锅 Hǎinán huǒguō Hainan-style hot pot is normally served in a small wok with a sterno flame underneath. This dish consists of a prepared broth containing pieces of meat. At the time of serving, the meat is not fully cooked. Diners need to wait for approximately 15 minutes before it is ready to eat. Items supplied to be cooked in this type of hot pot include: mushrooms, thin slices of beef, lettuce, and other green vegetables. This dish varies in different parts of the province.
Wenchang chicken Wenchang Chicken 1.JPG 文昌雞 文昌鸡 Wénchāng jī One of the four most famous dishes in Hainan cuisine, this dish originated from Wenchang, and is made from a certain type of free range chicken. It is a popular dish across the island, and is also served on the mainland, and in other Asian countries. The chicken is boiled and then cut into pieces. It is then eaten by dipping the pieces in a mixture of spices, including chopped ginger and salt.[1] The skin of Wenchang chicken is typically yellow, with an oily appearance.[2]
Hainanese chicken rice Hainanese Chicken Rice.jpg 海南雞飯 海南鸡饭 Hǎinán jīfàn Also known as Hainan chicken rice, this dish is popular in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
Jiaji duck 嘉積鴨 嘉积鸭 jiājī yā One of the four most famous dishes in Hainan cuisine. Originating from Qionghai by the Wanquan River, Jiaji duck is made from steamed or boiled duck that was previously force-fed a blend of cereal and bean curd three times daily.[3]
Dongshan lamb 東山羊 东山羊 dōngshān yáng One of the four most famous dishes in Hainan cuisine, this dish comes from Wanning. The distinctive taste of mutton is noticeably absent from the dish. The meat, actually goat, is served tender and soft, after being stewed, roasted, or braised in coconut milk.[3]
Hele crab 和樂蟹 和乐蟹 Hélè xiè One of the four most famous dishes in Hainan cuisine, Hele crab originated from Hele Town, near Wanning, located on the southeastern shores of Hainan. The yellow meat of the crab has an oily texture, and a strong aroma. It is usually served with ginger and garlic in vinegar, after being steamed.[3][4]
Wenquan goose 溫泉鵝 温泉鹅 Wēnquán é A hybrid species of goose is used for this dish. They are fattened on a mixture that includes bran, silage.[3]
Lingao suckling pork 臨高乳豬 临高乳猪 Língāo rǔzhū This dish is from Lingao County. Young pigs weighing approximately 10 kilograms are either roasted, sauteed, barbecued, or steamed. The meat is served when the skin is crisp.[3]
Wanquan river carp 萬泉河鯉魚 万泉河鲤鱼 Wànquán hé lǐyú This dish is made from one of three species of carp that live in the Wanquan River, known locally as the Xijing, Phoenix Tailed, and Quan. It is prepared in a variety of ways, with steaming and stewing being the most popular.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hainan Four Best Known Dishes-Wenchang Chicken—Hainan Cuisine -Sunny Hainan Holiday |Hainan Tourism official website". Hainantour.com. 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2010-07-30. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Wenchang Chicken - China culture". Kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com. 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gwinnell, Philip; Han, Bin (December 2010). Hainan, China's Emerging Jewel - The Definitive Guide. Nanfang Publishing House (南方出版社). ISBN 978-7-5501-0016-9.  p 9999
  4. ^ "Hainan Cuisine - China culture". Kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 

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