Hainan cuisine

Hainan cuisine, or Hainanese cuisine, 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 prawn, crab, and freshwater and ocean fish are widely available.

Congee, 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.

Four Most Famous Dishes in Hainan Cuisine

Name Image Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Pinyin Description
Dongshan lamb 東山羊 东山羊 Dōngshān yáng 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.[1]
Hele crab 和樂蟹 和乐蟹 Hélè xiè 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.[1][2]
Jiaji duck 嘉積鴨 嘉积鸭 Jiājī yā 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.[1]
Wenchang chicken 文昌雞 文昌鸡 Wénchāng jī This dish, originating in Wenchang, is made from a certain type of free range chicken. 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.[3] The chicken skin is typically yellow, with an oily appearance.[4]

Other notable dishes

Name Image Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Pinyin Description
Coconut chicken
椰子雞 椰子鸡 Yē zǐ jī This dish consists of coconut water being boiled like a hot pot with chicken boiling inside. This adds a slight sweet taste to the chicken.
Hainan rice noodles 海南粉 海南粉 Hǎinán fěn This dish is common in Hainan. Rice noodles are served at room temperature with various toppings, most commonly, roasted peanuts, fresh coriander, pickled vegetables, thin strips of meat, and a thick sauce, sometimes containing thin strips of bamboo. It is typically served with a complimentary bowl of clear or somewhat clear broth made from pig offal and/or chicken powder.
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 Hainan.
Lingao suckling pork 臨高乳豬 临高乳猪 Língāo rǔzhū This dish is from Lingao County. Young pigs weighing approximately 10 kg are either roasted, sautéed, barbecued or steamed. The meat is served when the skin is crisp.[1]
Lingshui sour noodles Popular throughout the province, this room-temperature dish is made of vermicelli noodles in a thick, pinkish, clear sour sauce with dried strips of beef and dried fish added.
Qingbuliang 清補涼 清补凉 qīng bǔ liáng Popular sweet cold dessert “soup” usually made with a coconut milk base and topped with fresh fruit and other assorted ingredients including ice cream, shredded coconut and mung beans, among others. Widely available from every dessert stand in Hainan.[5]
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.[1]
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 and silage.[1]
Yi bua 薏粑 薏粑 Yìbā A sweet glutinous rice steamed dumpling filled with palm sugar, grated coconut, peanuts and spices.

See also


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "Hainan Cuisine - China culture". Kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
  3. ^ "Hainan Four Best Known Dishes-Wenchang Chicken—Hainan Cuisine -Sunny Hainan Holiday |Hainan Tourism official website". Hainantour.com. 2009-04-13. Archived from the original on 2019-12-16. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  4. ^ "Wenchang Chicken - China culture". Kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com. 2010-02-20. Archived from the original on 2010-07-17. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  5. ^ "Coconut Qing Bu Liang from Hainan is a Must-Try Summer Dessert". The World of Chinese. Retrieved 2023-02-15.