Spring Feast in Hainan

By / hicn.cn / Updated: 19:07,11-March-2023

Spring has sprung and the green scent of life is priming the air in Hainan. Now that various seasonal fruits and vegetables are getting ready to harvest,  the public is eagerly awaiting these delicious flavors. For an introduction to some of the best options, keep reading!

A short shrubby plant known throughout the world for the beverage of the same name, the tea plants in Baisha, Qiongzhou, and Wuzhishan are shrouded with a green veil fragrant with the scent of spring tea. Considered to be the best tea for its fresh and mellow flavor, the locally grown teas (particularly Wuzhishan Black and Baisha Green) are popular with both locals and visitors. So, why not meet up with some friends and have a cup of tea with them?


Have you ever heard of the Red Toon (Toona sinensis)? A tender leafed tree sometimes called the “Tree Cabbage”, the famous historical foodie Su Dongpo once mentioned its delicious taste in a poem. Although there are many different ways to cook it, many people prefer to fry it with scrambled eggs.


What do you think when you think of spinach?Many people think of Popeye the Sailor and the cartoon strongman's adoration for the vegetable. Tender and fresh with rich nutrients in early spring, spinach is good for the heart and people are encouraged to make it a regular part of their diet. Braised Spinach with Garlic is a common Chinese spinach dishes that's hard not to like.


Bamboo is more than just a building material. In the spring, the young shoots can be eaten as a vegetable. Bursting out of the earth (especially after rain), it has a tender, crunchy and sweet taste that perfectly represents the spring season. Even the great poet Su Dongpo once showed his love for it. We recommend you to try  Stir-fried Bamboo Shoot and Braised Pork with Bamboo Shoot.


If you live in China, you may be aware of the recent craze for Rice Noodles and Snails. Did you know the lake dwelling Margarya snail which is used to make its soup has other culinary uses? At this time of the year, the margarya are chewy and full of meat. In addition to the famous noodles, one of the most common dishes is Braised Margarya. Quickly stir fried with cooking wine, soy sauce, and sugar before being left to simmer, few people can resist this tasty dish.

Dropwort (Oenanthe javanica in Latin) is a highly nutritious vegetable with crispy outside and soft inside. In Hainan, it is one of the common ingredients in  Vegetarian Casserole. According to local folk customs, eating dropwort signifies living diligently because the “qin” in the name is homophonic for the "qin" in the word. As for cooking, other than clay pot casseroles, one of the best known ways is stir-frying.


The last item on our list is Shepherd's Purse. You can find it everywhere in spring ranging from vegetable patches to the roadside and ditches. There are also lots of ways to cook it, including stir-frying, braising, and making soup and dumplings. No matter what recipe you use, it is a delicious bite of spring.

What about fruits? Hainan has fruits year round but spring's selection is much larger and the current weather is perfect for going to pick-your-own orchards and enjoy the fun of picking fruits like mangoes, pineapples, wax apples, and mulberries. Make sure not to miss the island's“Spring Feast”!



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