Hainan Island, The Place for Best Seafood in China
Hainan Island is an island of immigrants – with a population of more than 9 million people including minorities, so its cuisine reflects the influence of its diverse residents.
Local Food of Li People, the first inhabitants of Hainan Island
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. Specialties of the Li and Miao people include bamboo rice and coconut soup. The best place to tast the most local Li & Miao People food is Binglanggu Local Minority Culture Park
The Hui people (Hainan Muslims) have been living on Hainan Island over 700 years, mainly in Yanglan and Huixin Village near Sanya Airports. 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 people but retained their Muslim customs. Phoenix town has many Hui offerings such as beef and mutton specialties.Their special food is Fish Soup with Mutton.
Seafood on Hainan Island:
With an abundance of fresh catches of the day, seafood is the most popular food on Hainan Island. There are open markets in Sanya where customers can pick their own favorites and have them cooked to personal perfection. But if you don’t speak Chinese, it will be a big task.
In all local restaurants, resorts and international hotels, seafood is always the most popular one, so try one of the restaurants if the open seafood market is too challenge for you.
The Four Most Famous Hainan Dishes:
The four most famous dishes in Hainan are Wenchang chicken from Wenchang city which is known for its tender meat and succulent bone marrow; Dongshan lamb or mutton from Wanning Hainan Island; Jiaji duck from Qionghai Hainan Island with a special ginger, soy and pepper sauce; and Hele crab from Wanning Hainan Island is best served steamed to retain its fresh flavor.