Hainan human geography:The sea taste of Danzhou people

By Ye Haisheng / hiHainan / Updated: 2019-12-06,16:26

There is a long coastline and vast sea area in Danzhou. The strong sea taste of Danzhou people often smells on the island. For example, in Hainan cuisine, salted fish and eggplant pots are the most popular dishes. The salted fish in the dish is often the dried red fish from Danzhou.

Old salt continues the taste of the ocean

Recently, I took a trip to the ancient salt pans.

The ancient salt pans of Danzhou is located in Yantian Village, south of the Xinying Bay District Office of Yangpu Economic Development Zone. The ancient salt pans of the millennium are more than 1200 years old, and the total area of Yantian is 750 mu. The ancient salt pans of the millennium are the earliest sun-dried salt in China, and they are also the ancient salt pans in China that have retained the best intact sun-dried salt method. According to legend, more than 1200 years ago, a group of salt workers who had been "cooking the sea water for salt" came down from Fujian Province to the Yangpu Peninsula. They had an occasional chance to discover new ways of making salt. They drilled the stone into a trough, filled the sea water in the pans, with the help of the sun, the sea water can be changed into salt gradually, creating a precedent for sun-dried salt. After that, in practice, they used the sun-dried beach sand to pour sea water to filter, make brine, and then salt, and the output increased. After the Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty heard the news, the royal writing "Zhengde" was given to Yantian Village people.

The ancient salt pans in Danzhou, which were seen in the past few years, have a strong taste of“original”. Nowadays, the commercial atmosphere of the entrance to the ancient Yantian Village has become stronger. The Yangpu people have more ways to“make a living by the sea”. Their shops sell mainly old salt, eggs cooked in old salt piles and salted chicken. Old salt is packed in plastic bags. The packaging of eggs and salted chicken is not very particular, but these fragrant products of the ancient Yantian Village let people feel the continuation of the taste of the ocean.

In mid-December last year, at the winter fair held at Haikou International Convention and Exhibition Center, I saw the old salt produced in Danzhou, in which the bamboo tube for packaging, the old salt of each tube is more than 100 yuan, which is much more expensive than ordinary salt. But it makes sense. The salt making process is ancient and unique. The salt produced in Danzhou ancient salt pans is white as snow, fine as cotton, salty and moderate,without bitterness.It has the characteristics of pure nature, no impurities, small particles can be eaten directly. Unlike the coarse salt we usually eat, the sea salt that is dried by this traditional method, which is commonly known as the”old salt” -fine particles of natural crystals, a little sweet in salty, and the salt itself contains iodine and also has the effect of antipyretic and fire extinguishing. The old salt has disinfection and silting effect, and has the function of quasi-Chinese medicine. It is no wonder that in the drinks of Haikou in the past three years, the "old salt lemonade" has sprung up and became the darling of the market. The "old salt" in the beverage store is mostly from Danzhou.

Danzhou people have salty-fish complex

At the literary work revision meeting in Danzhou, I found a piece of prose written by Wang Weijiao entitled "Grandma's Grilled Salted Fish", which has a vivid description:

I have lived in Xi'an for two years and three months. For a thousand days, I started to enjoy spicy food on the diet. There is always a habit that I can't change - I love salted fish.

I didn’t forget to ask them such a question for the first time after I was familiar with my roommates. I said, "Do you like salted fish?"

"Ah! What kind of fish is salted fish?"

"Is it a fish for leisure?"

Their answers almost shocked my chin.

I opened the pictures on my mobile phone and used the standard Hong Kong-Taiwan-Hainan-style Mandarin to explain to them in graphic form, "You see, this is salted fish, a kind of dried fish. The fishermen put the fish caught in the sea and washed them clean, then scraped and peeled. The salt is marinated in the fish, or soaked in salt water, placed under the scorching sun, and dried to the sun. The meat is firm and the taste is salty and fresh.The salted fish can be grilled and fried... a bowl of porridge to eat with the salted fish, is the best enjoyment in the world!" Listening to my exaggerated commentary, the nerves and taste buds of the roommates are excited, pulling my hand and saying, "Sounds delicious! You go home to remember to bring us some!"

I laughed and nodded. The salted fish in Danzhou has laid a deep emotional foundation for the people of the north and the south in Hainan Island.

Later, in other texts about the people of Danzhou, I found that there were many accounts about salted fish. It was concluded that the complex of salty fish to Danzhou people is strong. This complex must be related to the climate. Danzhou in the west is a bit more arid than the eastern and northern parts of the island. In the hot summer days, salted fish are easy to keep, and porridge is mixed with salted fish, which is naturally awesome.

Wang Weijiao even said in the article "Grandma's Roasted Salted Fish": The salted fish that died but not rotted, hides love in my life.

Danzhou salted fish are available in both dried and wet. When I was a boy, I lived in Xiliu State Farm of Danzhou. From time to time, I saw the women in Danzhou picking up the burden to sell salted fish. Our family often bought wet and salty red fish, which is the size of a palm. The salted red fish can be eaten at least two meals.

The representative of the salted fish in Danzhou is the red fish. In Danzhou, red fish is a new year that people must buy when they celebrate Chinese New Year. During the Chinese New Year, a red fish is hung at home, which means that in the new year, "Good luck is coming, and you can have fish every year(everything is enough)”. Therefore, the red fish in Danzhou has infused a meaningful cultural element and become a local cultural connotation. Xinzhou town and Baimajing town are the main places where red fish are produced in Danzhou. At the Xinying fishing port, local fishermen said that the production process of the red fish in Danzhou is quite particular. The fishermen put the salt into the red fish and picked them up to prevent decay. Just before the boat is docked, the fishermen would open the belly of the red fish and remove the internal organs of the fish, dry them in the sun,then take them to the market.And the dried red fish produced in this way is dull and salty with insufficient aroma. The true quality of the dried red fish is dried by the fishermen at sea. After the fish is caught on the boat, they are timely processed and dried. Without salting, the dried red fish is golden yellow, and has endless scent afer eating.

Danzhou people love to eat red fish. In the early years, not every household can eat red fish. Eating red fish is a symbol of family wealth. In the 1980s, a dried red fish sold for four or five yuan, which was a big expense for the family at that time. The red fish used to be sold one by one only. You can either buy one or eagerly look forward to it. Nowadays, the average dried red fish can be sold for fifty or sixty yuan a pound in the New Year. If the quality is good enough, it can be sold for more than 80 yuan or even more than 100 yuan. A whole big red fish could be sold several hundred yuan - the sea taste of Danzhou people is getting more and more valuable.

See the sea taste at the slightest of Danzhou Milan

There are many kinds of snacks in Hainan, and one of them is the rice noodle called Danzhou Milan. Danzhou Milan is one of the favorite foods of Danzhou people. It is said Danzhou people sing in the folk songs: "Changpo Milan Luoji Zongzi, Mutang oysters Yongchang onion,the scent of Majing red fish can break the pot, Paipu’s savory potato let your stomach swell." Changpo Town's Milan ranks first in the variety of flavored snacks, showing its position in the minds of the people of Danzhou. In Danzhou, people used to have a bowl of cold Milan at breakfast, a bowl of hot bone soup,the Milan leaves scent on the teeth and cheeks after eating.

Danzhou Milan, this kind of local snacks originated from the countryside. Although it was born from humble beginnings, less appeared in the banquet table in Hainan, but its production process is quite particular, the finished products are full of color and flavor, making people unforgettable.The Milan is a traditional snack of Danzhou people in Hainan. The method is to first immerse the rice and then grind it into rice syrup, and use a funnel to leak into the boiling water. When it is simmered, it becomes a soft, white silk, then it is taken up in cold water, then got them up layer by layer. It is placed in the bamboo basket, and is served with beef, dried shrimp, pork, squid, fried peanuts,fried garlic oil, etc., and the taste is particularly great.

If you compare the Danzhou Milan with the Hainan rice noodle,the rice noodle of Danzhou Milan should be harder. The Hainan rice noodle is relatively soft. The same seasonings are fried peanuts, but all the condiments of the Hainan noodle are usually not directly related to the sea. From time to time, I sometimes eat the Danzhou Milan at the Jinpan Night Market. It is found that the sea taste of Danzhou Milan is reflected in the slightest. In the matching of the condiments, the squid and the dried shrimp from the sea are often indispensable.

When it comes to seafood, you have to say white shell. The authentic Danzhou Milan has to use the white shells found in the sea. The specific method is to boil the white shells after the water is boiled, the white shells are put in and then take them out. The sweet taste of the sea is a generous gift from the ocean.

  儋州境内有漫长的海岸线及广阔的海域,儋州人浓浓的海味时常在海岛飘香。比如在海南菜里,咸鱼茄子煲是平常最受大家欢迎的一道菜,这菜里的咸鱼往往是产自儋州的红鱼干。

  老盐延续海洋味道

  我在古盐岛走了一趟。

  古盐岛位于洋浦经济开发区新英湾区办事处南面的盐田村。千年古盐田距今1200多年,盐田总面积750亩,千年古盐田是我国最早的一个日晒制盐点,也是我国至今保留最完好的原始日晒制盐方式的古盐田。相传1200多年前,一群曾操“煮海为盐”的盐工,从福建南下来到洋浦半岛,一次偶然的机会让他们发现了新的制盐方式。他们凿石为槽,里头盛放海水,借助烈日曝晒成盐,开创日晒制盐的先例。此后,他们又在实践中用经太阳晒干的海滩泥沙浇上海水过滤,制卤水,再晒盐,产量增大。清朝乾隆皇帝闻报后,御书“正德”赐给盐田人。

  前几年所见的儋州古盐田,“原始”的味道浓些,如今看到的古盐田入口商业气息浓厚了起来,洋浦人“靠海吃海”多了门道,有好些帐篷搭起来的商铺,商铺里卖的主要有老盐,老盐堆里所煮的鸡蛋和盐焗鸡,老盐用塑料袋装着,鸡蛋和盐焗鸡的包装不太讲究,但这些香喷喷的产品都让人感受到海洋味道的延续。

  去年12月中旬,在海口国际会展中心举办的冬交会上,记者看到了产自儋州的老盐,其中包装用竹筒,每筒老盐一百多元,比普通盐贵得多,其中自有道理。儋州古盐田的制盐工序古老、独特,生产出的盐巴白如雪,细如棉,咸味适中纯正,不带苦味,具有纯天然、无杂质、颗粒小、可直接食用等特点。与我们平时吃的粗盐不同的是,用这种传统方法晒制的海盐,也就是我们俗称的“老盐”,均为自然结晶的细颗粒,咸中带甜,而且晒出的盐本身就含有碘元素,还具有退热消火的功效。老盐巴还可消毒散淤,有了准中药的功能,难怪这三年海口的饮品中,“老盐柠檬水”异军突起,成了市场的宠儿。饮品店里的“老盐”多出自儋州。

  儋州人多有咸鱼情结

  儋州改稿会中,记者发现有篇王伟娇写的题为《外婆的烤咸鱼》散文中,有段生动的描述:

  在西安生活已有两年零三个月,快一千个日子,开始在饮食上的无辣不欢,可总有一个习惯,我改不了——我爱吃咸鱼。

  我忘不了和舍友混熟后第一次问她们这么一个问题,我说,“你们爱吃咸鱼吗?”

  “啊!咸鱼是什么鱼?”

  “闲鱼啊,休闲时候的标配吗?”

  她们的答案险些惊掉我的下巴。

  我打开手机里的图片,操着标准的港台腔式海普,以图文形式,声情并茂地向她们解释:“你们看,这个就是咸鱼,一种晒干的鱼。渔民们把捕捞上来的鱼洗干净,刮鳞剥肚。在鱼身抹盐腌渍,或者用盐水浸泡,放到烈日下,去水晒到干,晒到皱。肉质紧致,味咸而鲜。太阳越是狠越是烈,这鱼就越能晒出味。咸鱼可以拿来烤,拿来煎拿来炸……特别是烤咸鱼,烤得外焦里嫩的咸鱼啊,单单就着一碗白粥吃,都是人间极品!”听着我夸张的解说,舍友的神经和味蕾都兴奋了起来,拉着我的手说,“听起来好好吃啊!你回家给记得我们带呀!”

  我笑着重重点头。儋州咸鱼打下了海岛南北人民深厚的感情基础……

  后来我又在其他有关儋州人的文字中,发现多处有有关咸鱼的记述,由此推断:儋州人多有咸鱼情结。这情结想必与气候相关。西部的儋州,比海岛上的东部和北部要干旱些,夏季炎热的日子里,咸鱼易保鲜,稀饭搭配咸鱼,自然是人间美味。

  王伟娇在《外婆的烤咸鱼》一文里竟然还说:咸鱼那死去但不腐烂的躯体里,藏着我的一生至爱。

  儋州咸鱼有干咸鱼和湿咸鱼两种。年少时我生活在儋州的西流农场,不时会看到儋州女挑着担子来卖咸鱼,我们家常买的是湿咸红鱼,巴掌般大小,咸红鱼至少可以吃两顿。

  儋州咸鱼的代表是红鱼。在儋州,红鱼是人们过年时必买的年货。过年时,在家里挂一条红鱼,寓意着在新的一年里“鸿(红)运当头,年年有余(鱼)”,因此,儋州红鱼注入了意味深长的文化元素,成为当地的文化内涵。儋州盛产红鱼的地方主要有新英和白马井。在新英镇鱼货码头,当地渔民说,儋州红鱼干的制作工艺颇为讲究,渔民捕捞上船后拿盐来腌制以防腐烂,船靠岸后,鱼贩才拿来开膛去肚,在太阳底下晒干,这样制作的干红鱼色泽暗淡且很咸,香味不足。真正品质极佳的干红鱼是渔民在海上晒干的,鱼被捕捞上船后立即开膛去内脏晒干,不经过盐腌制,这种干红鱼呈金黄色,闻之有香味,吃之香甜,余味无穷。

  儋州人爱吃红鱼,早年并不是每户人家都能吃得上红鱼干,吃上红鱼是家庭富裕的象征。上世纪80年代,一条干红鱼卖四五元钱,这对当时的家庭来说已经是一笔不小的开支了。红鱼以前是按只来卖的,你要么买一只,要么就站着看看过把望梅止渴的瘾。如今,一般的红鱼干在过年的时候都可以卖到五六十元钱一斤,品相较好的,可以卖到80多元甚至上百元一斤,一整条大红鱼干就可卖到几百元——儋州人的海味越来越值钱了。

  儋州米烂细微处见海味

  海南小吃中粉类丰富,儋州米烂其中一种。米烂是儋州人最喜爱的食物之一,儋州山歌里这样唱道:“长坡米烂洛基粽,木棠欧馍永昌葱;马井红鱼香破釜,排浦薯香吃肚膨”。长坡镇米烂排在品种繁多的风味小吃的首位,可见其在儋州人心目中的地位。在儋州,人们早餐时习惯一碗凉米烂,一碗热骨汤,吃得齿颊留香。

  米烂,这种发源于乡村的乡土小食,虽然出身寒门,较少在海南的宴会餐桌上出现,但其制作工艺颇为讲究,成品色香味俱全,让人过口难忘。米烂是海南儋州人的传统小吃。制作方法是先将大米浸泡后磨成米浆,用漏斗漏进沸腾的开水里,霎时变成一条条柔软雪白的米丝,然后,捞上来放在冷水里,再捞上来,一层一层叠放在竹蓝里,吃时配上牛肉丝、干虾米、猪肉丝、鱿鱼丝、炒花生米、炸蒜头油等混捞一起,味道特别香美可口。

  若将儋州米烂与海南粉做比较,儋州米烂的粉质要坚硬些,海南粉相对柔软些,它们用的相同佐料是炒花生米,但海南粉中的所有佐料通常与大海没有直接关系。我有时会在金盘夜市吃儋州米烂,发现儋州米烂在细微处体现海味是佐料,其佐料的搭配中,通常少不了来自海里的鱿鱼丝和干虾米,这两样食材不由得让人想到海洋。

说到海味,还得说白贝。正宗的儋州米烂还得用上海里找到的白贝,具体做法是烧开水煮白贝,水开后白贝放入,再装出,其鲜甜味道见出海洋的慷慨馈赠。

Discover

×

Having questions about living or working in Hainan? Leave it below. 

We shall contact you by email once we have the answers for your questions.

Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browser our site and use the services you agree to our use of cookies, Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree