Hainan Food
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Hainan Food & Cuisine | What to Eat in Hainan 2024

Hainan cuisine is known for its seafood such as prawns, crabs, and ocean fish, as well as mild-flavored chicken and refreshing dessert like Qingbuliang. The food is usually light, less oily. Besides lunch and dinner, you can also enjoy various yummy snacks like various noodles, and outdoor barbecue dishes. To better plan your trip in Hainan, we have listed top 10 Hainan food and snacks for you. Let’s find the most authentic Hainan food and snacks here!

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Hainan Food & Snacks

Hainan Food
Hainan Food
① Wenchang Chicken

Chinese: 文昌鸡 • Pinyin: Wénchāng jī • Average Cost: CNY 70/pp
Recommended Restaurant: Jiujishu Wenchang Chicken Hainan Chicken Rice Restaurant 九吉树.文昌鸡海南鸡饭

As one of the most famous Hainan's specialties, Wenchang Chicken is a signature dish in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, due to the nostalgia for their home of the Hainanese diaspora. It is normally boiled and then cut into pieces. It is then eaten by dipping the pieces in a mixture of spices including chopped ginger, garlic, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, and freshly squeezed calamansi fruit. The skin is typically yellow, and the meat is very juicy and tender.

② Coconut Chicken - Yeziji

Chinese: 椰子鸡 • Pinyin: yē zǐ jī • Average Cost: CNY 100/pp
Recommended Restaurant: Original Flavor Coconut Chicken 原味主张椰子鸡

The coconut chicken is often served right inside the coconut or cooked with coconut milk and flesh. The chicken coconut soup is a true Hainan specialty. The soup tastes salty and fresh, with perfect tropical flavor. The refreshing soup contains a lot of protein, fructose, glucose, sucrose, fat, vitamin B1, vitamin E, vitamin C, etc. 

Hainan Food
Hainan Food
③ Hele Crab

Chinese: 和乐蟹 • Pinyin: Hélè xiè • Average Cost: CNY 150/pp
Recommended Restaurant: Chunyuan Seafood Square 春园海鲜广场

Hele crab is famous for its fat creams. There are a variety of cooking methods such as steaming, boiling, frying, and baking. Especially "steaming", it keeps the freshness of the original taste of the tender crab meat and fat crab paste. In addition to eating this dish in major restaurants, the crab is so popular, you can also find it almost in any market. 

④ Jiaji Duck

Chinese: 嘉积鸭 • Pinyin: Jiājī yā • Average Cost: CNY 150/pp
Recommended Restaurant: Ledong Huangliu Duck 黄流老鸭

Jiaji Duck, also known as "Fanya", has a red crown, yellowfins, and black and white feathers. Due to the unique feeding method in Jiaji area of Hainan, the duck has a large breast, thin skin, soft bone, and tender meat, and is fat but not greasy. You can try it in almost every restaurant in Sanya.

Hainan Food
Hainan Food
⑤ Dongshan Lamb

Chinese: 东山羊 • Pinyin: Dōngshān yáng • Average Cost: CNY 130/pp
Recommended Restaurant: Qiongcai Memory Restaurant 琼菜记忆

Dongshan lamb, also known as Hainan black goat. Dongshan lamb is named because it is produced in Dongshan ridge of Hainan Province. Dongshan mutton soup is very delicious. Dongshan lamb has a variety of food methods, including baking, stewing, and boiling.

⑥ Hainanese Chicken Rice

Chinese: 海南鸡饭 • Pinyin: Hǎinán jīfàn • Average Cost: CNY 60/pp
Recommended Restaurant: Jiujishu Wenchang Chicken Hainan Chicken Rice Restaurant 九吉树.文昌鸡海南鸡饭

Hainan chicken rice is a famous traditional dish in Wenchang City, Hainan Province. The main ingredients of Hainan chicken rice are chicken and rice, and the main cooking method is scalding. It is light yellow and bright with crisp skin, fragrant tender meat. It is a very popular dish in Southeast Asia.

Hainan Food
Hainan Food
⑦ Baoluo Rice Noodles

Chinese: 抱罗粉 • Pinyin: bào luó fěn • Average Cost: CNY 20/pp
Recommended Restaurant: Yao’er Baoluo Rice Noodles 么二抱罗粉

Baoluo Rice Noodles is a famous local snack in Hainan, named after Baoluo town, with sour soup and a variety of seasonings. Simmered with pork or beef bones, the overall flavor is sour and spicy. Popular with locals, this dish is inexpensive, tasty, and filling.

⑧ Coconut Rice

Chinese: 椰子船 • Pinyin: yē zǐ chuán • Average Cost: CNY 50/pp
Recommended Restaurant: Coconut Chicken Restaurant 椰小鸡.椰子鸡

Coconut rice is also known as coconut boat. It is steamed with Hainan high-quality glutinous rice, natural coconut meat, and coconut milk inside a freshly picked coconut. It is a traditional farm snack in Hainan. Don't forget to try it at that time. In this coconut shadow whirling City, taste authentic coconut rice, which has a unique flavor.

Hainan Food
Hainan Food
⑨ Qingbuliang

Chinese: 清补凉 • Pinyin: qīng bǔ liáng • Average Cost: CNY 20/pp
Recommended Restaurant: Laopengji Qingbuliang 老彭记清补凉

Qingbuliang is a cool refreshing sweet dessert soup commonly sold from small carts in tropical Hainan Island. Common ingredients include dates, red beans (mung beans), taro, watermelon, quail eggs, and nuts, but you can choose which you want, with cold coconut milk or sweet syrup base. The price is cheap, generally 3-5 yuan per bowl. You can also ask the store to choose more or fewer ingredients according to your personal preferences.

⑩ Xinglong Coffee 

Chinese: 兴隆咖啡 • Pinyin: xìng lóng kā fēi • Average Cost: CNY 40/pp
Recommended Restaurant: Xinglong Coffee Culture Experience Hall 兴隆咖啡文化体验馆

As the most famous coffee brand in Hainan, Xinglong Coffee was first planted by returning overseas Chinese, who fell in love with drinking coffee on their travels and couldn’t bear to come home without it. This was the beginning of the local coffee drinking culture in Hainan, which still continues to this day, with locals drinking freshly brewed coffee grown right here in Xinglong.

Notice: The pictures on this page, except for additional remarks, are all from the official website of explorehainan.

Chinese Food Culture

Nourished by the five thousand years’ history and multiple nations and regions in the vast land, China’s food culture is more than what words can describe. Rooted in traditional Chinese philosophy, like Yin-Yang and Five Element and Confucianism, Chinese cuisine is beyond the food itself but an artwork of the creative minds. Under the guidance of Traditional Chinese Medicine, most of the Chinese cuisines are healthy and nutritious, pursuing to maintain people’s health, and even help the patients get healed.

Are you wondering about Chinese cooking process? Is that hard? around 100 cooking techniques have been formed over the development of Chinese food culture. The diverse cooking techniques show the wisdom of Chinese people and also help a lot on the sustainable development and reformation of the Chinese cuisines.

To enjoy the authentic Chinese flavour in a right way, Chinese dining etiquette plays a rather important role in Chinese food culture. Getting to know the Chinese etiquette will not only show one’s good self-cultivation and manners, but also help you understand the culture deeply and avoid making taboos accidentally to behave offensively to your Chinese host.