Villagers in Qionghai use readily available ingredients on their land to make traditional snacks. The most commonly used ingredient is coconut. They also use some edible leaves, roots and stems as ingredients. Some of these traditional cakes are really delicious.
The younger generation are not willing to learn the skill and find it a hassle to make traditional cakes. They prefer to buy them if they crave for it.
At a friend’s fine dining restaurant in Haikou, he offers some of the traditional cakes from our hometown. My friend introduced me to some cakes that I have never seen nor tasted before. He has made some adjustments to suit the taste of his young diners.
Below are two traditional snacks that use simple ingredients on our land to produce yummy food.
Qionghai Chicken Poop Creeper Leaf Dumpling 鸡屎藤树叶饼
These are traditional glutinous rice cakes, but he added chicken poop creeper juice to the skin. Each cake is sandwiched between two edible leaves. The filling is coconut shreds and coconut sugar. His glutinous rice cakes are chewy and do not stick to your teeth when you eat. The coconut filling is not too sweet which is good for my elderly relatives.
Qionghai Mugwort Leaf Dumpling 琼海艾叶树叶饼
Featured above is another version of our leaf dumpling. You can find this in one of our tea houses in Jiaji town. It does not look pretty because it is a common man’s snack. The glutinous rice skin has Mugwort leaf juice added to it. The filling is a little different because they added black eye peas to it. I could savor the original taste of the ingredients as no sugar was added.
These traditional cakes are simple to make too. I learn to make some while I was back home in my hometown. We use ingredients that are grown on our land. Our Hainanese ancestors are so innovative and wise to make use of readily available produce.
I would have difficulty replicating these snacks in Singapore due to the lack of some ingredients. But I will try, so my son and relatives in Singapore can have a taste of Qionghai traditional snacks.