Enjoy a Spring Festival Specialty in Xinlong, Wanning

By Ding Xin / hicn.cn / Updated: 12:30,17-February-2021

After the golden rice cake is cut into pieces and heated up, it will taste even better with a cup of locally grown Xinglong coffee.

Golden rice cake is one of the most well-known specialties of Wanning’s Xinglong area. This snack originally came from Southeast Asia, but after being brought to Hainan by overseas Chinese, it became a popular snack among the people of Wanning and an important local Spring Festival snack in Xinglong.

Zhou Jianmei is opening a coconut. The riper the coconut, the stronger the flavor.

As a chef, Zhou Jianmei's daily schedule is dictated by the process of making golden rice cakes. Every morning around 5 o'clock, Zhou gets up early to heat up the stove, break open coconuts, extract the coconut meat, and prepare the materials needed for a day of cooking.

Zhou Jianmei is chopping up the coconut meat and setting it aside.

Zhou Jianmei's wife is washing pandan leaves.

The process of making golden rice cake is extremely tedious. Zhou Jianmei needs to pulp the coconut meat, then boil it in a pot with pandan leaves and ginger for about 3 and a half hours, then mix it with tapioca flour, sugar and eggs, ferment it, and finally put it into the oven for the final baking stage.

After a special sauce boiled with many spices is added to the batter, it is ready to be steamed in the oven.

It is worth mentioning that no food coloring or added flavouring is added to the golden rice cake. The golden color comes from the eggs and pandan leaves, while the rich flavor of golden rice cake mainly comes from tropical spice plants including pandan leaves, lemongrass, ginger, and fresh coconut pulp. When cooked correctly, the golden rice cake will be a sweet golden dessert, similar to a sponge cake.

These golden rice cakes just came out of the oven.

In the Xinglong area, returned overseas Chinese first ate these cakes as a family snack. With the rise of tourism in Xinglong, the golden rice cakes became popular with visitors, and their fame spread across the country.

The golden rice cakes taste better when they are steamed over a fire of coconut husks.

Now, the golden rice cake has become one of Xinglong’s specialties. Every Spring Festival, Zhou Jianmei receives a large number of orders, and has to work overtime until late at night to satisfy his many customers.

For Zhou Jianmei, born and raised in Xinglong, the golden rice cake has another meaning: although he has never been to Indonesia, he tastes and enjoys the flavor of Southeast Asia in the cakes he makes.



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