7 ube dishes to try in Bohol

Because there’s more in ube than just jam

When you say Bohol, the first thing that enter one’s mind is the majestic Chocolate Hills or the cute little Tarsiers. But unknown to many, the province of Bohol is one of the largest ube or purple yam producers in country.

BOHOL BEAUTY Known as the home of cute Tarsiers and majestic Chocolate Hills, Bohol has recently opened its doors for tourism. (Jessica Pag-iwayan)

Coined as the province’s “savior crop” as its discovery alleviated the hunger in Bohol during the pre-Hispanic era, the province is holding an annual ube festival since year 2000. The festival aims to celebrate the root crop that has become an agro-historical-geographical-religious symbol for the province and to highlight the impact and contributions of ubi farmers. As part of this year’s festival, the local government unit (LGU) will hold a cooking competition. 

During the media familiarization tour in Bohol that includes the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle, winning chefs showcased their signature dishes, proving that there is more in ube aside from jam. With that, here are the some of winning dishes you should try the next time you visit the beautiful province of Bohol. 


  1. Sabaw Kabaw sa Ube 

A winning dish by chef Ma. Christina Sulta, Sabaw Kabaw sa Ube is a popular carabao meat soup in Loboc, Bohol. Chef Christina leveled-up the dish by adding three types of ube--binugas for thicker consistency, baligonhon for color, and kinampay for aroma. 

If you’re a fan of nilagang baka or bulalo, you will surely love this one. 

2. UBI Law-oy

Created by Modala Resort’s chef Marcel Navalta, this ube soup is infused with coconut water broth. This also has three kinds of ube added with ube cabbage rolls, dried squid, and fried shallots. 

Main course:

3. Nil “Ubi”hang Alimango with local farm greens

Another delicious dish from chef Christina’s kitchen, this main course meal gives a twist to another Loboc signature dish. Mud crabs were stuffed with coconut strips and ube. It is cooked in fresh buko juice. To add another kick of local flavor, it is topped with hamutan, a local variety of basil. 

4. Sinanglay

If you love seafood, you’re up for a treat as chef Rex Fermalino from Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort combined wrapped fish fillet, coconut crab sauce, and fried leeks in a mouth-watering main course dish, perfect with rice. 

5. Hinalang

Keeping in mind that not everyone is into seafood, chef Rex made another ube dish for those who love meat. Hinalang is smoked chicken leg quarter stewed in spicy coconut sauce, pickled chili, ube garlic mash with toasted desiccated coconuts. 


6. Ube coconut cake

If you enjoy ube cakes from famous bakeries here in the Metro, this cake will change the way you see ube cake. Made by chef Christina, this delicious sweet treat has ube halaya and young coconut jelly covered in coconut sponge. 

7. Ube surpise

Can’t decide between ice cream and cake? Chef Rex got you with his ube surprise—an ube icer cream and cake in one. It is made with tablea sponge, house made ube kinampay ice cream covered in kalamansi merengue flambéed in orange liquor. 

As Bohol houses seven kinds of ube namely, kinampay, baligunhon, kabus ok, tamisan, iniling, binanag, and binato, chefs who are based in this province have a lot of varieties to play with.

Make sure to add on your adventure itinerary to try these dishes in Bohol. I'm sure you will not regret it!