Cravings Culture

Look At All The Pretty Purple In This Ube Mango Sticky Rice and Ube Cheese Bread

The vibrant and royal hues of ube has been one of the more recognizable hallmarks of Filipino cuisine. Ube, which is also referred to as purple yam, can be enjoyed in many dessert forms, with ube halaya, a boiled and mashed version of it, serving as the base.

One pop-up business, OohBae Cafe, out of Aliso Viejo, California, is serving up some of the most unique and delicious applications of ube, whether it be in ube cheese pandesal bread rolls, ube mango sticky rice, and ube silvanas, which are Filipino cashew merengue cookies layered with buttercream and cookie crumbs.

For owners Marie and Dale, OohBae Cafe was borne out of the now common pandemic pivot, where like many other individuals, the married couple found inspiration in other avenues, namely the kitchen.

“My husband and I both grew up in the Philippines, him and his family made ube halaya and sold it to make a living during the holidays. Luckily my husband was able to replicate the recipe with the help of my mother-in-law,” shared Marie.

OohBae Cafe has served as a welcome distraction from the all that 2020 was and wasn’t for Marie and Dale, as Marie admits, “It kept us busy and helped us forget all the mishaps throughout the year. Dale was let go from his job due to an injury in 2020 and OohBae was there for us to keep our sanity and give us hope.”

For now OohBae Cafe runs as a pop-up out of Aliso Viejo, California, with goods available for pickup or delivery in the local area. Marie adds, “We try to do regular pop-ups once a week or every other week as the demand keeps growing.”

Fast Food

7-Elevens In Hawaii Serve Up Ube and Haupia-Flavored Slushies

Hawaii’s universally known as a literal paradise. But beyond that, the tropical escape is also a foodie’s paradise, so much so that even 7-Elevens out there got some unique options to offer.

Spotted by @foodwithmichel, Ube and Haupia-flavored Slurpees are being dispensed at a 7-Eleven location out in the land of aloha. Ube, a purple yam from the Philippines, and Haupia, a coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert, sound like perfect thirst quenchers when you’re out enjoying all the islands have to offer, really.

It’s not enough that they got gorgeous beaches everywhere and ideal weather, but even Hawaiian 7-Elevens gotta level up on the rest of us, too? You win, Hawaii, you win.

Restaurants Video

The Pasta Lab Cranking Out Creative Classics Like UBE Mac & Cheese

Fresh made pasta is one of the world’s tastiest comforts, especially when put into a creamy, cheesy sauce that gets the serotonin spiking.

There’s many variations on mac and cheese and similar pasta dishes out in the wild. What makes the Ube Mac and Cheese from Orange County’s Pvsta Lab stand out, however, is their fresh made ube pasta with a striking violet hue.

It’s not something you expect to see every day when it comes to fresh pasta, but Pvsta Lab has this on rotation daily as part of its more unique offerings. With hints of ube coming through in the flavor as well, this is a bowl of comfort with a difference both in taste and on visuals.

Pvsta Lab also creates different unique dishes like a blend of chicken katsu and chicken Parmesan, plus other twists that might be on the menu depending on the day. What else they might be adding to pasta in the future is anyone’s guess.

You can check out the full story on Pvsta Lab and their one-of-a-kind Ube Mac in the Foodbeast video located at the top of this story.

What's New

Trader Joe’s Has An All-New Ube Mochi Pancake and Waffle Mix

With this pancake cereal trend blowing up everywhere, pancake mixes are flying off shelves. If you happen to be near a Trader Joe’s, however, you might be lucky enough to spot something pretty unique in the offerings of breakfast cake batter.

A crazy cool new variation of pancake mix was just spotted at Trader Joe’s: Ube Mochi Pancake and Waffle Mix.

Spotted by Trader Joe’s aficionado with the apt handle @TraderJoesAficionado,  this brand new item draws inspiration from the popular purple yams known as ube most prominently used in Filipino desserts. Ube flour is combined with rice flour to create an extra chewy texture within these pancakes. Entirely gluten free, all you really need is flour, eggs, and butter.

Let’s be honest, there’s no way I’d make minis of these. I’d want to try fat stacks of them on my first go. Looks and sounds AMAZING.

You can find this Ube Mochi Pancake and Waffle mix at participating Trader Joe’s locations throughout the U.S.

Feature image courtesy of @TraderJoesAficionado
Cravings Sweets

This Ube Churro Bowl Will Have You Eating Ice Cream In Style

While ube has been around forever, we’ve yet to see the mashed purple yam take on such a form as this Ube Churro Bowl. Yet no frontier will go undiscovered when it comes to food, and this sweet purple dessert is a shining example of that.

Nitrolado, a nitrogen-based ice cream parlor in Garden Grove, CA, has created a dessert that oozes ube.

How did they pull this Ube Churro Bowl off?

The dessert shop create a customized ube-flavored churro bowl that’s molded using cupcake tins and plopped into the deep fryer. As the churro is plunged into a pool of white-hot oil, Nitrolado mixes together an ube-flavored sugar that’s ready to coat the deep-fried novelty dish. Once it cools a bit, the bowl is ready to meet a scoop (or two) of ube-flavored ice cream. The three ube components come together like a sweet miniature purple Megazord.

Photo: Peter Pham

As far as toppings go, Nitrolado typically serves this popular dessert with pieces of mochi. However, you can pretty much have it with any of the toppings the store offers. Fruity Pebbles, for example, adds a nice vibrance to the all-purple canvas.

You can find this Ube Churro Bowl at Nitrolado tucked away in Orange County. As with all other specialty ice cream dishes we write about, make sure to get your Instagram photos taken quickly. Everyone should be able to enjoy their ice cream before it melts.

Photo: Peter Pham
Sweets Tastemade/Snapchat

10 Sweet Ube Desserts You Need Right About Now

Ube seems to be every foodie’s new obsession, and with good reason. If you’re not sure what it is, ube is basically a purple yam, similar to a sweet potato, most notably found in Filipino cuisine. While ube tastes amazing and is extremely versatile to cook with, the veggie’s claim to fame is its beautiful purple hue. The stuff can make anything look good. Because ube deserves to be in your life if it isn’t already, here are some of our favorite ube desserts.

Ube Donut

See what we mean about the beautiful color? It’s so rare to find natural foods this vivid without any food dye, but ube has defied all odds. Manila Social Club in NYC started making these donuts and everyone went wild. We would literally hop on a plane and fly across the country for a dozen of these without any shame.

Ube Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich

Dear Lord, we can barely comprehend the amazingness that is in front of us. If you’re wondering, and you should be, this is ube ice cream toasted into a brioche bun with shiso granola and a little coconut dulce de leche for good measure. Yet another infectious concoction out of New York City. What’s in the water over there? The city sure knows its sweets.

Ube Velvet Whoopie Pie

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These are Ube whoopie pies. The cake is ube velvet, as opposed to red velvet, and the cream is ube gelato. That’s three delicious layers of ube in one amazing dessert. You know, this looks oddly similar to Sunday nights when we do meal prep. Oh, what a world it would be to eat ube whoopie pies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Ube Coffee Cake

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Okay, guys. This is ube coffee cake, so that means we’ve officially found a sweet ube treat that’s acceptable to eat for breakfast. This luscious goodie is topped with a coconut sugar walnut crumble, just for that added crunch. With that beautiful hue, how could you say no?

Ube Leche Flan Cupcake

To any known deity in the universe, all we ask of you is that some day we will be able to experience the deliciousness that is this ube cupcake. We would also like to point out that this little beauty is topped with leche flan instead of frosting. That’s just how Cafe 86, a Filipino joint located in Southern California, rolls.

Flores de Ube

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While we mentioned ube is commonly found in Filipino cuisine, none of the sweets we’ve listed so far are traditional applications of the ube. That ends here with these incredible Flores de Ube. Word on the street is you can get three of these these sweet, tasty rolls for only $1.99 at Valerio’s Tropical Bake Shop in Daly City, CA. Use whatever train, plane, or automobile to get there, stat.

Ube NiceCream

Sure, we’ve heard of “Nicecream.” It’s basically frozen bananas that somehow magically adopt the taste and texture of ice cream after being blended together. But we have never seen Ube Nicecream. Now you can indulge in a sweet ube treat that is, dare we say, actually healthy for you. Plus, if you have a blender, this will be a piece of cake to make.

Ube Upside Down Pie

Okay, so this basically looks like heaven in a jar. What is it, you ask? Well, this is an upside down ube pie with a graham cracker Greek yogurt crumble. Pineapple upside down cake is pretty visually stunning as is, but it might have some competition here. That gorgeous shade of purple just can’t be beat.

Ube Cinnamon Roll

Everyone loves cinnamon rolls. They’re the quintessential Sunday morning breakfast. We’ve spent so many weekend mornings curled up with a cup of coffee and a warm, sticky cinnamon roll, you don’t even want to know. It just doesn’t get better than that. Well, maybe we spoke too soon. This ube cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting and caramelized coconut sugar is definitely way better.

Ube Bread Pudding

Wow, this is absurd. We didn’t think anything could top Cafe 86’s ube cupcake with leche flan, but that was before we discovered their ube bread pudding with ube ice cream. What the heck. Just look how dense and delicious that bread pudding looks. And don’t even get us started on the ice cream. Drool.


Filipino Chef Unleashes $100 24-Karat Gold Donut on the World

A New York chef is selling golden donuts for $100 apiece.

Björn Delacruz sells the 24-karat gold-leafed donuts at Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Manila Social Club restaurant, where he is executive chef, reports Forbes.

Delacruz’s $100 donuts gained a degree of internet infamy after uploading a picture of his creation to Instagram and then through a First We Feast profile.


The donuts, which can bought for $1,000 per dozen, are made by hand. Delacruz uses pâte à choux, a typical pastry dough, made from purple ube flour. Purple ube is purple yam from the Philippines, where he was born.

After he fries the doughnuts, he fills them with purple ube mousse and Cristal jelly. He then glazes the doughnuts and covers them in gold leaf.

“The reason I chose Cristal over another type of champagne is because Cristal has really great honey notes which goes great with ube (purple yam),” he told First We Feast. “For me, it’s shiny and it’s golden, but it comes together to create a really great doughnut, as crazy as that sounds. There was a time when I was eating this doughnut while drinking Cristal, and I was like, ‘Oh, this is a great combo!’”


All of the ingredients come together to create a golden, flaky doughnut with a creamy, purple filling.

Delacruz says he made 20 deliveries of golden doughnuts last Friday to mostly customers purchasing a single doughnut each, with some ordering a full dozen. He says most people who buy his doughnuts want them for a special occasion, like birthdays and proposals.

“People like to celebrate their loved ones in an extreme fashion. They want to do something bordering on ridiculous. They do something with complete passion,”Delacruz told Forbes. “This wasn’t meant to be a big money maker, it was meant to celebrate.”

Written by Editorial Staff, NextShark


21 Filipino Foods You Should Know About


Have you ever tried Filipino food? I’m sure your Filipino friends have asked you at some point or another. For the majority, the answer is usually, “Ya… I think so, I’ve tried lumpia before. Does that count?”

It does, but you’re only brushing the surface. Floating over it, if you will. The history of Filipino food is troubled, wonderful and full of heart. It’s been conquered, relinquished and diluted.

The reason? Food, like all things in life, is tied to power. A simple hot dish of rice, eggs and longaniza evokes 300 years of Spanish colonization. While the heavy influences of Chinese and Malaysian cuisine can be found in the savory soups and heavy use of soy sauce. Again, I’m floating over the surface. Barely touching it.

So, let’s casually bypass the centuries of cultural tension that took place on those tiny islands floating in the Pacific Ocean to… now. Filipino food is going through a revival. In modern America, of all places. This is in part thanks to Filipino pride expressed in Instagram photos of tapsilog egg porn, fearless young restaurants like NYC’s Filipino gastropub Jeepney, and the internet’s insatiable desire to find the next “pretty young thing”.

We’d like to be the first to give you a proper introduction to this world’s glorious cuisine. So, sit tight, relax, and enjoy the view. We take no responsibility for any post-crispy pork cravings.





Chopped ear-to-jowl pork braised, fried and served on a sizzling plate. Seasoned with calamansi — a small, green citrus fruit — and chili peppers. Must always be served with a ready-to-pop sunnyside up egg. If not, it’s not proper sisig.






While a variety of meats can be used for this dish — pork, beef, etc. — milkfish or bangus is a favorite. Just a warning: milkfish is notoriously bony. Luckily, its delicate, tender texture is worth the inconvenience. The broth is flavored with strained tamarind and stocked with okra, taro, eggplant, water spinach, and string beans.


Crispy Pata



Pork leg simmered in star anise, bay leaf and peppercorns, then rubbed down in garlic and salt, before being deep fried until the rind gets crispy and the inside soft and tender. Served with a side of spicy vinegar.





As you might have noticed by now, a lot of Filipino cuisines are potent in flavor. Very few dishes can be described as “light” and “airy.” Pinakbet, for instance, is made from bagoong — a paste of fermented ground shrimp and salt. The smell is intoxicating, which garners either a love or hate reaction. Spiced with garlic, ginger and onions, this vegetable dish comes packed with squash, string beans, okra, eggplant, bitter melon and chili peppers. Shrimp or beef is sometimes added.


Pork Adobo



Not to be mistaken by Spanish adobo. Filipino adobo is an absolute staple in the Philippines. The smell of it alone puts me in the mood, yes that mood. The dish is quick and simple, marinate pork or chicken in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and bay leaf sauce. Simmer until meat is tender and serve over a hot plate of rice.


Lechon Kawali



I suggest adding “eating lechon hot from the frying pan” as one of the less ambitious, tastier things on your bucket list. The deep-fried pork belly crackles as you bite into the salty skin, then tender fatty layers of meat. Spanish-influenced, expect to eat these crispy bits of magic by the handfuls.

Oh, and don’t forget to dip in Mang Tomas “brown sauce”.








Derived from the Chinese spring roll, lumpiang shanghai packs ground pork embedded with chopped onions, garlic and veggies into a fried eggroll. They’re usually found next to a side of sweet and sour dipping sauce but I like slathering it in Mang Tomas, because that liquid crack goes great on everything.






My grandmama calls this one “chocolate meat”. A savory stew of pork offal — snout, intestine, lungs, etc. — simmered in a rich gravy of pig’s blood spiced with chili and sweetened with sugar. The added garlic and vinegar bring this dish to next-level savory. Oh, stop fussing. It’s delicious. I promise.





Tapsilog is a portmanteau of tapa (beef slices), sinangag (fried garlic rice), and itlog (fried egg). Think of it as the holy trinity on one plate of unadulterated egg porn.


Kare Kare



Oxtail stew flavored with peanut butter. One of the more subtle-in-flavor dishes of Filipino eats. Best when generous amounts of tripe are thrown in.


Ampalaya Con Carne



One of the healthier dishes on this list, Ampalaya Con Carne mixes bitter gourd and beef strips. The gourd is chock full of nutrients — Vitamin C, Folate, and Riboflavin, to name a few.

The extreme bitterness has a wonderful slap-you-in-the-face effect.


Pancit Malabon



Noodles colored with a orange sauce flavored with patis — fish sauce – and bagoong (which is also used in pinakbet). Usually topped like a seafood Christmas tree and garnished with a sliced hard boiled egg.






Just imagining having this for breakfast with warm rice and egg yolk spilling everywhere makes me sweat. A nod to Spanish chorizo, longganisa is a sweet sausage with an addicting garlic taste.


Filipino Spaghetti



Two words: Banana Sauce. My mom makes this for me every time I come home to visit. It’s quick, easy and has a wonderful, distinct taste thanks to the banana sauce added to the tomato paste.

Protip: Use tiny Vienna sausages in a can for the hot dogs. Trust.





Halo-Halo means “mix-mix” in Tagalog. There are three layers to this beloved dessert. Bottom: candied fruits and beans. Middle: Shaved Ice. Top: a scoop of ube ice cream (purple yam), evaporated milk, and if you’re lucky, chunks of leche flan (below).

Make sure to mix it really well, so you get a bit of everything in each spoonful.




Filipino-11 Filipino-10 Filipino-09


It’s not unusual to find a clear tub of this at Filipino parties. Chewy gulaman cubes and sago pearl jellies floating in dark sugar syrup. Served ice-cold. A heaven-sent refreshment in the summer.

Note: While similar to gelatin, gulaman is a carbohydrate made from seaweed, while gelatin is a protien from collagen in animal skin and bones.





You can find this at any convenience store in the Philippines. A sarsaparilla-based soft drink, Sarsi carries a strong licorice flavor with a sweet flavor similar to root beer.

Protip: Pour Sarsi into a glass, then add a few scoops of vanilla bean ice cream for a “Sarsi Float”.





Deep-fried pork rinds. Almost any store in the Philippines will have plastic bags of chicharon on its shelves, next to the Sarsi. Popular throughout Latin America and Spain as well.

One of my personal favorite finger foods, especially when there’s spicy vinegar on deck to dip it in.



Leche Flan



Good luck taking “just one bite” out of this one. A rich custard made with egg yolks and condensed milk, topped with a soft caramel surface. If you’re making this at home, I recommend making the syrup yourself, as opposed to buying it at the store. The process is simple enough — slowly melting brown sugar into a syrupy liquid — but takes patience.






A soft, crumbly candy made from powdered milk, butter and toasted flour. Warning: this will make a mess no matter how hard you try to keep it neat. Don’t worry, it’s worth it.


Ube Halaya



Made from mashing purple yam and stirring in evaporated milk, condensed milk, coconut milk and sugar over low heat. Often referred to as “purple yam jam.” Hands down my all-time favorite Filipino dessert for its simplicity in flavor and recipe. If you’re looking for a thicker halo-halo version, swap the ube ice cream with ube halaya.


Photos taken by Peter Pham