Dining and Drinks in Sanya
Tasting the local dishes is a must on your journey. Both of the hotels and a number of roadside booths serve the freshest seafood. Besides the seafood, you still can try the famous four dishes of Hainan: Wenchang Chicken, Dongshan Lamb, Jiaji Duck and Hele Crab, or the very local Hainan special and Dim Sum such as Baoluo Feng(picture), Coconut meat dumpling(picture), GangmenFeng(picture), etc. which are the best popular breakfast that local people will take instead of bread and milk. Of course, you may also enjoy Russian, Japanese, Korean, Italian and other western style foods here. Also many other Chinese foods can be found here such as Cantonese, Sichuan, Hunan, etc. Please check here for our recommendation on restaurant.
Local Special Favorites (Hainan Featured Foods)
Hainan Four Dishes are well known all of the world, you can find in any of restaurants here.
Boiled Wenchang Chicken(meat tender) Braised Dongshan Mutton
Steamed Hele Crab Boiled Jiaji Duck
The authentic Wenchang Chicken is so named because it was first produced in Wenchang City. Raw material for that dish are carefully selected home-fed chicken. The food taste crisp, tender and fragrant after being skillfully cooked with particular ingredients. Wenchang Chicken has earned good reputation for its delicate taste and pleasant texture among clients over the world.
Hotels in Sanya all can serve this dish.
Jiaji Duck is also named "Fan Duck" and is featured with red coronet, yellow web and white and black feather. Thanks to the unique feeding method of Jiaji Area in Qionghai City, the grown "Fan Duck" is featured with big chest, thin skin, soft bones and delicate meat. When you eat the meat, you will find it fat but not oily and is honored with the name "Jiaji Duck" in order to be distinguished from other variety of "Fan Duck” raised in other areas. There are altogether three cooking methods of this kind of duck. It can be cooked into Steamed Duck Pieces, Preserved Duck and Roast Duck with every one delicious and special. You can enjoy it in any hotel or the snack bars by the side of the streets in Sanya.
Dongshan Mutton is so called because of its production place- Dongshan Mountain in Wanning City. The food is known for the tender meat and strong soup. It tastes fresh and is free of goat smell. There are various cooking methods for Dongshan Mutton. No matter it is baked, braised or steamed, the food is tasty.
Hele Crab is characterized by full crab extract and tender meat. The golden looks crab extract appears shiny with special fragrance. Hele Crab tastes best if being steamed and with ginger, garlic and vinegar. It maintains the original taste of the crab and tastes especially fresh and delicate.
Sanya is located at north latitude 18 degree, and its sea water is high in salt-bearing, that makes seafood there taste very good. Abalone, sea cucumber and other exotic foods are common dishes served in restaurants here, and a visit to the port area in the city center is testament to the incredible wealth and freshness of the food here. There are many ways to cook, steamed, fried, braised, and hot-pot.
Chicken Hotpot with fresh coconut juice
Soup with chicken, coconut meat and fresh coconut juice. It is a popular dish in Hainan's culinary repertoire and is beloved by locals and tourists alike.
Ethnic Li Food
Bamboo Rice is a kind of traditional Li food. The cooking way is to choose a short bamboo tube and fill it with rice and water and sealed with a banana leaf, then put it on fire for half an hour and the bamboo rice is ready. If adding some seafood, or meat, it will taste more delicious.
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Ethnic Hui Food
The Hui foods take beef and mutton as main ingredients. There are many Hui restaurants in the Phoenix Town.
Fresh Fish Soup is very well-known.
Snacks and Dim Sum
Coconut Rice (also called boat rice as it looks like a boat)
Dumpling with coconut meat (also called Coconut Ba)， sweet
"Jian Dui", One type of deep-fried rice-based product. It has a golden color and a round, hollow shape, with a fragrant and crispy texture. The volume expands, and the thin, crispy outer layer is fragrant while being soft and sticky. The fillings can include peanut candy, coconut flakes, bean paste, winter melon candy, coconut shreds, sesame, diced meat, and winter melon sugar. Then, sesame seeds are sprinkled on the surface of the dumplings, which are fried in a pot with preferably coconut oil or peanut oil. While frying, they are constantly turned over to ensure even thickness and roundness. After a few minutes, they are scooped out, cooled for a while, and fried again. This process is repeated three or four times until the surface becomes golden in color.
In Hainan, people call breakfast "jia da" (translated phonetically in Hainanese). "Jia" means to eat, and "da" means breakfast.
Hainanese breakfast is all about being warm. There are noodle soups, rice noodle soups, porridge, and various sweet soups. These steamy dishes seem to match the humid climate of the island. Hainanese breakfast ingredients are simple, sourced from the sea, fields, and local areas, aiming for freshness. There are countless varieties of Hainanese breakfast, catering to different taste buds. Even a bowl of noodles can have subtle and unique flavors in different regions due to different ingredients and preparation methods.
To find Hainanese breakfast, you need to wander the streets and alleys. There are no chains or trademarks. Many breakfast shops are small storefronts with a few chairs inside and outside. People gather and sit together, sharing tables. The owners serve steaming hot breakfast, and customers enjoy their meals with gusto.
Baoluo Fen The key to delicious Ba Luo fen lies in the quality of the broth. In the past, the broth for Bao Luo fen was typically made by boiling beef bones. Nowadays, the soup for the rice noodles incorporates the Cantonese method of making superior broth, using a variety of ingredients to create a flavorful base. The cooked broth is then used to mix with rice noodles, and served with premium beef jerky, shredded lean meat, pork sausages, peanuts, a hint of pickled bamboo shoots, pickled vegetables, and other condiments such as chili and pepper. It is tasty and savory, with a delightful balance of flavors—sweet with a spicy kick.
Hainan Noodles (made by rice) called Gangmen Fen, popular in Sanya
A fragrant and rich broth is simmered with fresh sea fish, sea snails, and pork bones, resulting in a sweet and savory soup. The ingredients include pickled vegetables, bean sprouts, fish cake slices, and fried peanuts.
Ling Shui Sour Fen The distinctiveness of sour rice noodles lies in its tangy broth and diverse ingredients. As the local area is abundant in seafood, people often add dried shrimps, fish cakes, dried salted fish, and shredded squid, among other seafood, as toppings for the rice noodles. The seasoning sauce used to mix with the noodles also includes vinegar, and to enhance the flavor, it is served with the local spicy. The combination creates a refreshing and delightful eating experience.
The deliciousness of Hou'an noodles is closely related to the meticulously brewed soup base. To make a tasty soup base, fresh pork bones, intestines, and sausages are typically selected, and they are simmered with seasonings like pepper for at least 4 hours. The noodles are thin yet chewy, providing an excellent texture.
Jenny's tip: adding an egg or an extra serving of fried shrimp paste, which enhances the richness of the flavor.
The Hainan peper is one of the spiciest chili varieties in China and is unique to Hainan. It is called the yellow lantern chili due to its golden yellow color and lantern-like shape. It ranks second among the spiciest chilies in the world and is considered the true king of chili peppers.
Hainan chili is a moderately spicy and delicious pepper that is widely used in Hainan cuisine. It has gained popularity both domestically and internationally due to its unique flavor and medicinal value. Hainan lantern chili is one of the specialties of Hainan Province and is mainly grown in the eastern, western, and southern parts of Hainan Island. The peppers vary in size and shape but share a common characteristic of having a vibrant red skin. Knowing the origin, variety, and characteristics of Hainan lantern chili can enhance your appreciation of Hainan's culinary delights for those who enjoy Hainanese cuisine.
Qing Bu Liang (a kind of dessert) refreshing and ice-cold dessert, is extremely popular among the people of Hainan, It usually includes ingredients such as creamy coconut milk, bright red watermelon, dark red jujubes, red beans, mung beans, peanuts, agar jelly, taro, and quail eggs, all blended together in a bowl of coolness.
Local beer: The best popular local beer is Hainan Beer, besides you can order another famous Chinese beer Qsingdao beer or import beers. Soft drinks:many options such as Coke, Sprite, and Hainan special fresh coconut juice.
Shanlan Wine: From Li people, made of glutinous rice. Put boiled rice mixed with distiller’s yeast in a basket and cover with banana leaves, after three to five days, put them into a jar and seal for half month. If storing the wine underground for three to five years, it will taste much better.