Today's post is about yet another food that's easy to find here in Hawaii, but fairly uncommon in mainland USA. The ube, or the purple yam.
We indirectly discovered this root vegetable when Laura ordered ube ice cream in a shop in Waimanalo. Ube is also a key ingredient in a wide range of Asian desserts and pastries, thanks largely to the fact that it naturally colors almost any food with a shockingly rich purple hue.
So when we stumbled onto a big bin of ube for sale in Honolulu's Chinatown a few days later, we knew we had to buy a couple.
We brought them home, boiled them up and ate them completely unseasoned, just to see what they tasted like. We were not disappointed. It was really good--it had the texture and consistency of a regular potato with the sweetness of a sweet potato.
One unusual byproduct of boiling up these ube: the leftover cooking water had a bizarre green tint to it.
Imagine using this for your next batch of vegetable stock, or even better, in a batch of delicious risotto! Just for fun, we used this broth to cook up a batch of pasta, and it gave the pasta a noticeable, if unappetizing, greenish tinge.
Finally, I spent some time looking around the internet for some interesting recipes that include ube--let me share four that look really good:
Ube Gnocchi at Burnt Lumpia
Ube Cupcakes at Recipezaar
Ube Balls at Kumain.com
Ube Purple Yam Two-Tone Bread at Angies Recipes
How to Make Fried Rice
How to Make Pickled Eggs
Thai Pasta Salad
Austrian Cuisine: Viennese Potato Soup (Wiener Kartoffelsuppe)
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