We’re loving this purple yam ‘ube-rload’
For a cool dessert that is commonly seen on the streets, halo-halo is pretty grand. With a number of ingredients, from soft jellies and tapioca pearls to sweetened bananas and kamote, let’s not forget its toppings, halo-halo is a true celebration of Philippine flavors and produce.
But let’s admit it, we all have a favorite ingredient on the glass. Some love the velvety leche flan, others prefer to nibble on beans and macapuno. But for ube lovers, sometimes, a spoon of ube halaya is not enough to satisfy the purple craving.
Foodie and devout ube fanatic John Sherwin Felix understands the need for more purple yam in halo-halo. That is why he created his own version of the summer staple highlighting the goodness that comes from ube, and shares it on his Instagram page The Banana Leaf Kitchen.
“Well, ube halaya has always been known as a key ingredient for the typical halo-halo recipe,” he tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “Still, it sometimes goes out of the spotlight because some people infuse their halo-halo with lots of other ingredients. There are already lots of ube halo-halo out there, especially in some fast food chains, but I find them ‘not ube enough.’ I then challenged myself. Why not make halo-halo where ube is the star—the main star.”
For his unique take on the halo-halo, he used ube halaya that he prepared himself, stirring non-stop to achieve the right consistency. According to him, buko-based products perfectly compliment the jam. So, he composed his ube halo-halo with nata de coco, fresh buko shreds, ube gelatin, tapioca pearls, rice crisps, and the final touch, a scoop of ube ice cream.
Apart from the halo-halo, John Sherwin also tried to use the purple yam on other dishes. While the ube halo-halo breaks away a little from the traditional, his ube champorado, ube rice cake, ube turon, and ube bilo-bilo creations hung on the classic side. A self-confessed culture and history buff, he believes “that our cuisine is one of the best in the world, yet underrated.” That is why he aims to feature the best the Filipino kitchen has to offer on his Instagram page, one banana leaf-set photo at a time.
For anyone who is wondering if he has a food business, well, he doesn’t have one for now. But it looks like we don’t need to wait that long.
“Cooking is my expression of my love for our culture,” John Sherwin muses. “I want to share my passion with others. I’m currently in touch with my other friends in opening a restaurant or a food stall.”
For now, visit The Banana Leaf Kitchen for some food inspiration, and P.S. he can share some of his recipes with you. Just tag him in the comment section!