I was talking to a patient about Filipino cooking and they mentioned Ube. I asked what it was and they told me that Ube is a purple yam which is popular in Southeast Asia. I find a bit of adventure from cooking something previously unknown. I feel like I understand more about other people and other cultures when I cook their recipes and become familiar with their staple foods. Food is part of who we are. When you learn someone’s favorite foods, you learn a bit about who they are and where they come from.
Having never seen Ube before, I headed to an popular Asian market nearby and bought some. I was not disappointed! Ube Halaya is a popular dessert in the Philippines. It can be eaten plain or can be used to make cakes or ice cream. It is a very rich dish with a subtle sweetness. When I tasted it, I knew that it would be a perfect easy to chew dessert!
Place the purple yams in a large pot and cover with water. Turn stove to high heat and boil covered for about 40 minutes
Run under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. The purple yams can now easily be peeled by hand.
After you peel the yams run them through a potato ricer.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the evaporated milk, coconut milk, and the sweetened condensed milk. Stir together and add in the purple yams.
Stir continuously over medium heat for about 40 minutes, the mixture will thicken as you cook it and stir it.
After about 40 minutes, the mixture will be thick thick, almost dough-like.
Transfer to a container of your choosing, be sure to spray the container with cooking spray first. It sets more as it cools, once cool it is ready to eat. It can be eaten plain or topped with coconut.
When it comes to food, color is everything:
The moral of the story is to find bright colored foods and to eat them. So go, follow that food rainbow, maybe there’s a pot of gold at the end.
A potato ricer is extremely helpful in making Ube Halaya. It also is a critical tool when making mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. Potato ricers help make potatoes fluffy without making them gummy and starchy from over mashing. Check one out HERE.