Hainan Jian Dui (zhen dai 珍袋 in Hainanese) is a traditional snack. I was looking for this huge glutinous rice ball for a long time. Finally, I found this yummy delicacy when I was back home in Hainan. It is available in some restaurants in Haikou. The one I ate is an improved version of the snack. It is truly amazing and very delicious.
Making Hainan Jian Dui
Diners can watch the chef cook the glutinous rice balls as they eat. A small rice bowl of dough was used. The skilful chef deep fried the dough until it is the size of a basketball! It wasn’t easy as the chef has to keep rotating the dough in the hot oil to achieve the round shape. Each Jian Dui takes about ten minutes to cook, so diners must be patient.
Hainan Jian Dui has a hollow centre and a crispy skin. It looks so impressive when the restaurant serves it. A small hammer was provided to crack the top open. Using the hammer, we knocked holes on the top and then removed it. We broke the crispy skin off with our fingers and ate while it was hot. The skin was so thin and crispy. It was really yummy.
At the bottom of the snack is some gooey glutinous rice cake which tasted like mochi. I like it so much that I brought the leftovers back to my hotel room to snack on it. It remained crispy for hours. It was a little too greasy though.
Jian Dui For Happy Occasions
In our village in Qionghai, we offer them for prayers during Lunar New Year. We also present our elders with it on their birthdays. When daughters get married or at newborn babies’ full month celebration, these traditional snacks are offered to the guests. Some villagers even made it to celebrate the building of a house. Hainan Jian Dui is eaten on happy occasions.
海南煎堆，又称”珍袋”，是一道美味可口的传统小吃。回海南时，发现这个改良式的珍袋 。。。卖相好，炸得脆脆的、油油的，但是口感芳香酥脆。超好吃！😋 这整个珍袋我吃了一大半，剩下的还打包回酒店慢慢吃。😄