Sustainability made simple

Ube Jam: Recipe for Traditional Ube Halaya

Ube jam
Foto: Lorna P / Utopia

Ube halaya jam is a sweet, creamy, bright purple spread from the Philippines, which can be eaten on toast or added to desserts such as ice cream. You’ll love this vibrant treat!

Ube is a purple root vegetable that looks a little bit like sweet potato and tastes even sweeter. It can be boiled, steamed, and mashed, or fried and made into chips or french fries. Due to its sweet taste and beautiful purple color, ube is often used in desserts such as cakes, puddings, cookies, or ice cream. You can find fresh ube in the US, but it is easier to get your hands on frozen or powdered ube in your local Asian grocery store.

Recently, farmers have found it more difficult to successfully grow ube, because of changing air temperatures and fluctuating rainfall patterns due to climate change. In fact, ube production in the Philippines has been show to slow when the rainy season comes earlier, which affects planting and the amount of sunlight available.

A great way to use ube is to make homemade ube jam. Ube jam, or ube halaya, is a smooth, sweet, creamy jam from the Philippines. The ube is first slowly boiled, which helps to bring out its sweet, nutty flavor. Traditionally the ube is then combined with evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, butter, coconut milk, and sugar. We’ll show you how to make this recipe vegan by only using vegan butter, sugar, and coconut milk.

    How to Make Ube Jam

    The ube will darken in color when cooking.
    The ube will darken in color when cooking.
    (Foto: Lorna P / Utopia )

    Yield: 3 cups


    • 16 oz. fresh or frozen grated ube 
    • 1 2/3 cup coconut milk
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 4 tbsp. vegan butter


    1. Defrost frozen ube in the refrigerator overnight. If using fresh ube, wash and boil whole in water until soft, for about thirty minutes. Allow to cool and remove the skins, then chop into half-inch cubes.
    2. Cook the ube in a large saucepan on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the color gets darker and the water has disappeared. If using fresh ube, use a potato masher or blender to make it smoother.
    3. Mix in the coconut milk and sugar, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently. Keep stirring to avoid sticking, and cook until thick — about thirty minutes.
    4. Stir in the salt and vegan butter and cook for about fifteen minutes, until the color darkens to a dark purple and the texture is like a paste.
    5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for thirty minutes.
    6. Transfer to sterilized glass jars and seal. Store in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.

    Read more:

    Important Information regarding Health-related Topics.

    ** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.

    Do you like this post?

    Thank you very much for voting!