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Top 10 Must Eat Foods While Visiting Hainan

· Hainan,Travel,Food Guide

Hainan is China's must visit location for premier beaches, resorts and generally relaxing vacations. As a little island off the southern tip, it is claimed to be the Hawaii of China. This hyper-developed luxury resort island has been seeing more and more visitors every year to its golden beaches and crystal blue water, especially around the holidays. Other than beaches, their main tourist attractions include Guan Yin Buddhist Statue, Yalong Bay, and Butterfly Valley. Here are the top 10 must eat foods special to Hainan.

10. Hainan Hot Pot 海南火锅

Like most regional cuisines in China, Hainan has its own variation on the classic, shareable meal, mostly focussed on its fresh seafood. In Sanya, fresh seafood is available all year round so this dish can be enjoyed in the summer or winter. The pot is relatively small as far as hot pots go. A typical seafood hotpot includes an assortment of seafood such as nutritious fish head, prawns, clams, crab, as well as plates of green vegetables for dipping in the pale soup bases.

9. Hainan Lobster 龙虾

Since lobsters live in shallow waters of tropical areas, you can get some pretty awesome fresh lobster right off the coast of Sanya. In Hainan, people eat the lobster raw with mustard or they fry them in oil. The meat is fresh, slippery and soft. Depending on the type of lobster you get (there are a few different types in Hainan), the lobsters claws maybe be big or small.

8. Turtle and Snake Tonic Soup 鲍鱼烩五蛇羹

Turtle and Snake Soup is special to Hainan and has been used as a Traditional Chinese Medicine to prolong life in ancient China. Thanks to Hainan's temperate climate, lots of snakes and turtles live near Sanya. Because of the believed health properties associated with eating snake, lots of traditional Hainan restaurants serve this soup.

7. Hainan Breakfast Noodles 海南粉

If you weren't aware yet, noodles are a very popular breakfast staple for lots of regional Chinese cuisines. Originally, this dish was created in northern Hainan in Haikou, and was loved by urban residents of the island, but later spread to the rest of the cities. In Hainan, the noodles are made from rice flour and are usually topped with meat sauce, roasted peanuts and strips of bamboo.

6. Wanquan Carp 万泉​鲤

The Wanquan River in Hainan is home to four different types of a fish called Cyprinoid, which is a type of freshwater fish including carps and suckers. In Hainan, these fish are aplenty in the Wanquan River and you can get them fresh in most parts of the island. The fish is typically poached, steamed or eaten in hot pot then covered liberally in sweet and sour sauce. The fish is rich in essential nutrients and delicious.

5. Hainanese Chicken Rice 海南鸡饭

Hainanese Chicken Rice is probably more well known in Singapore and Malaysia than the namesake of the dish, Hainan. This dish is actually based on another dish on this list, Wenchang Chicken, but with a little twist. The entire chicken is poached in traditional Hainanese style. The stock from boiling the chicken is used in cooking the rice to make it oily. The chicken's skin is jelly-like from being dipped in ice after it's finished boiling. It comes with a dipping sauce, usually red chili with garlic and soy sauce.

4. Dongshan Mutton 东山羊

One of the four most famous dishes in Hainan is Dongshan Lamb or Mutton. Originally from Wanning, Hainan, this dish isn't the standard type of mutton. It doesn't have the typical mutton taste because it can be stewed, roasted or braised in coconut milk. It is very tender and soft and often comes with a thick soup for a full dish.

3. Jiaji Duck 嘉积鸭

The Jiaji Ducks are raised along the Wanquan River in Jiaji Town, Qionghai City. As they grows, this special breed is kept in coops and fed with rice, grain, sweet potato, and chaff. The meat is thick, the skin is thin, the bone is soft and there is very little fat. The cooking way of Jiaji Duck is also particular. The traditional way to prepare which it is to boil it in water, dice it, then eat with mixture of vinegar, chopped ginger and sesame oil.

2. Hele Crab 和乐蟹

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. Hele Crab tastes best if steamed and accompanied with ginger together with vinegar. It maintains the original taste of the crab and tastes especially fresh and delicate. It is best eaten in autumn.

1. Wenchang Chicken 文昌鸡​

The Wenchang Chicken is so named because it was first produced in Wenchang City. The chicken is free-range and on a high protein diet. The most traditional way to prepare Wenchang Chicken is "white cutting", which involves immersing the chicken in almost boiling hot water and cooked to preserve its softness and tenderness. It is then eaten by dipping the pieces in a mixture of spices including ginger and salt. All star-rated hotels and the major Hainan style restaurants can serve this dish.

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