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Hainan Island Local Food/ Hainan
Island Local Cuisines, Hainan Island Dining out/ Local Restaurants,
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Hainan Island is an island of immigrants - with a population of more than 8 million people including some 20 different nationalities and the Li, Miao and Hui minorities and its cuisine reflects the influence of its diverse residents.
The island's original inhabitants are the Li people, said to be descendants of the ancient Yue tribes of China who settled on the island more than 3,000 years ago. Examples of their ethnic cooking can be found in restaurants decorated with bamboo and thatch and waitresses in traditional dress. Specialties of the Li and Miao people include bamboo rice and coconut soup.
Bamboo Rice Chicken soup in Coconut
Also from the Li, come unique Wuzhi mountain specialties featuring organic vegetables, wild duck and “five feet” pig. The Mangrove Tree Resort in Yalong Bay features Wuzhi mountain food in their Chinese restaurant.
The Hui people have been living on Hainan Island over 700 years, mainly in Yanglan . It is said that the Huis are the offspring of Arabs from the 16th century who did business along the Water Silk Road from Quanzhou, China to the Middle East. Some were ship wrecked and settled on Hainan Island. They married the local Li people but retained their Muslim customs. Phoenix town has many Hui offerings such as beef and mutton specialties.
The wonderful Dongbei cooking from northwest China is very popular with its special dumplings and hand-made pasta. The unique dumplings are like none other in China - stuffed with eggs, shrimp, pork, beef and wild mountain vegetables. Some of 's best Dongbei restaurants are Dongbei Ren, Jiao Zi Wang and Dongbei Jiao Zi Cheng.
With an abundance of fresh catches of the day, seafood is very popular among visitors to Hainan Island. Customers can pick their own and have it cooked to personal perfection at most local restaurants. The four most famous dishes are Wenchang chicken from Wenchang city which is known for its tender meat and succulent bone marrow; Dongshan lamb or mutton; Jiaji duck from Qionghai city with a special ginger, soy and pepper sauce; and festive crab, also from Wenchang city, which is best served steamed to retain its fresh flavor. There are several good examples of restaurants serving these specialties between Jie Fang Er Lu and Sheng Li Lu, Ji Xian Lu and Xin Feng Lu.
Wenchang Chicken (Boiled, serve Cold) Hele Crab (Steamed)
Dongshan Lamb (Braised)
Many of the parking lots in downtown turn into bustling open-air seafood hotpot restaurants in the evening. During the day, fishermen and shellfish collectors make their rounds with fresh catches and as the sun goes down, you will see these scrumptious offerings on display. Wander through the multitude of rows between live fish, shrimp, crab and more (the entire dining experience costs about CNY100) and simply select what you want from each vendor. After the purchase, the vendor takes you back to your chosen table and places the seafood in the pot for individual dinners to watch over. A delicious array of sauces is offered along with a plentiful supply of beer.
Beside local delicacies, many foreign foods are available. Each of the resorts in Yalong Bay have their offerings of international cuisine. In addition, the Roma Pizzeria and Rainbow American Cafe in Dadonghai are worth checking out.
Hainan Island Food/Hainan Island Cuisines/Hainan Island Dining
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