Ingredient Spotlight: Purple Sweet Potatoes

These potatoes sent us on a bit of a ride. You see, they were labeled as yams at the farmers' market and a fellow shopper told us they were ube, as purple yams are known in the Philippines. So we bought them with the intention of making halayang ube, a Filipino jam. But after a bit of research, we discovered they are actually Japanese, or Okinawan, sweet potatoes. (Even more confusingly, these potatoes aren't really native to Japan but rather the Americas!) Now ... what should we do with them?

Simply steamed, the potatoes have a mildly sweet, nutty flavor. And the color is quite amazing! Here are a few recipe ideas we've found:

Gnocchi: Purple Yam Gnocchi, from Burnt Lumpia
Mash: Mashed Okinawan Purple Sweet Potatoes, from Wandering Chopsticks
Chips: Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potato Chips, from SJ Gourmet
Soup: Purple Sweet Potatoes Dessert Soup, from Juicy Fresh Bites
Dessert: Okinawa Sweet Potato Tarts, from Buko Pandan

Have you ever cooked with purple sweet potatoes?

Related: Good Question: Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes

(Image: Emily Ho)

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Emily Ho is a Los Angeles-based writer, recipe developer, and educator on topics such as food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. She is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and Food Swap Network. Learn more at Roots & Marvel