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Sanya's Food and Produce

Updated: 2019-06-13 13:22:17

Sanya Cuisine
The food of Sanya reflects the abundance of seafood in the surrounding waters as well as the rich sources of natural ingredients on-land, many of which grow or roam wild in the lush farmlands and jungles of the interior.


Hainan food has its roots in the food of farmers and fishermen, and makes use of simple, healthy ingredients, with the result that its flavours are often lighter and more delicate than those in dishes from neighboring provinces. Watch out for the yellow chilies which are commonly used as a condiment, though, as they are neither light nor delicate.


Four famous Hainan dishes

The following famous Hainan dishes are unique to the province and well worth ordering when visiting local restaurants in Sanya.


Wenchang Chicken (文昌鸡)



The precursor of the dish known around the world as Hainan Chicken, this dish comes from the city of Wenchang in the north of Hainan Island.


The chickens used in the dish are raised free-range in the Wenchang area and fed a diet of bran and coconut.


Traditionally the bird is boiled in stock and the meat served sliced on the bone. The meat is usually served with several dips and sauces.


Hele Crab (和乐蟹)


A dish originating from the town of Hele, near Wanning, where the locally-reared crabs have a rich, oily meat, they are usually steamed and served with ginger and a garlic and vinegar sauce.


Jiaji Duck (加积鸭)


The ducks used in this dish are traditionally raised in the Qionghai area on a diet of bran and tofu. They can be served steamed, boiled or roasted.


Dongshan Lamb (东山羊)


The meat in this dish is actually not lamb but goat, sourced from livestock reared at Dongshan Ridge near Wanning. The meat is usually roasted or braised in coconut milk.


Local street snacks



Among the wide variety of cuisines and unique local specialities on offer in Sanya the humble bowl of rice noodles is probably the most commonly seen and easily enjoyed.


Hainan is well known for its rice noodles, it is a common sight to see street stands and small eateries where a delicious bowl of noodles can be picked up for just a few yuan.


There are many local variations of this basic dish – the four most well known are Baoluo Rice Noodles (抱罗粉), Hainan Rice Noodles (海南粉), Hou’an Rice Noodles (后安粉), Gangmen Rice Noodles (港门粉) and  Lingshui Sour Rice Noodles (陵水酸粉).


Seafood in Sanya



Whilst there is no shortage of wonderful seafood restaurants in Sanya, for something a little different head to the First Market next to Hexi Road, buy whatever seafood want to try, plus any vegetables that take your fancy as an accompaniment, and take them to one of the neighboring restaurants where they will cook up the dishes for small service charge. In the evenings, as you eat your meal you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling night market.


Related articles:

Go Sanya for exotic seafood, don’t miss the 9 big local joints

Lao Yu Gang Seafood Square, a new food cooking centre in Sanya

Try Dabianlu in Sanya, a popular Hainan-style seafood hotpot

Common sea shellfish in Sanya! How many do you know



Dried Seafood 

dried food

Sanya also features lots of dried seafood and all sorts of exotic products from the sea for sale, such as octopus, snakehead fish, dried seahorses, dried snail mussels, and many more.


Tropical fruits in Sanya


tropical fruit

Hainan, an island in southern China, has a tropical moist monsoonal climate. The island’s tropical climate makes it China’s leading producer of tropical fruits and plants. It’s the country’s largest grower of pineapples and large exporter of coconuts, sisal, tropical fruits, sugar cane and coco.


There are many tropical fruits in Sanya. Some of them you may never see in other places, some of them smell very strange.


Related articles: 

Star Fruit: a unique tropical fruit popular in Sanya and Hainan

Wampee: An exotic taste of tropical fruit found in Sanya

Rambutan: This hairy ‘tropical lychee is Hainan’s exotic fruit


Hainan Specialty Products



Sanya offers a big collection of Hainan specialty local products like coffee, coconut pancake, coconut powder, tamarind juice…to name just a few. The products are of high quality and cost-effective, deeply favored by the visitors.