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Where to find Ube, purple yam

  • balini Apr 21, 2012 07:13 PM
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Any ideas on where I can get either Ube flour, frozen grated Ube or better yet fresh Ube ( purple yams used to make Filipino desserts) while I am in the city next week? Is there a Filipino market anywhere?Thanks for your help!

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  1. There's a small Filipino market called Johnny Air Mart at 214 Ave. A, just south of 14th St. I've never been inside, but perhaps you can find what you need there.

    http://johnnyair.com/?page=49
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/johnny-air-ma...

    1. I have bought and enjoyed purple yams from Hong Kong Supermarket on Hester in Chinatown -- both purple yam that's purple inside, and Japanese yam that's purple on the outside but a greenish brown inside. However, being no yam expert, I am not so sure either was ube. Also in Chinatown is Asia Food Corp. which carries Filipino products as well.

      If you find what you're looking for please post back. I just saw a photo of a bright lavender-colored cake made with ube and would love to access such a thing.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sequins

        thanks to both of you for your suggestions...yes the purple cake is my motivation, there is a wonderful Filipino bakery in Vancouver that makes them and they are much loved by my family there....I'll let you know

        1. re: balini

          Before buying and taking any fresh yams, I suggest you check if Customs will allow you to bring them to Vancouver (assuming you meant in Canada).

      2. If you have time, you can take the #7 train to 69th St. & Roosevelt Ave. in Queens and go to Phil-Am grocery on 70th & Roosevelt. You should be able to find some of the ube products you're looking for.

        2 Replies
        1. re: GoodGravy

          thanks RCC, you are right about Canadian customs...I don't live there anymore tho so that's not an issue...
          GG I was hoping to stay in the city but if I don't find what I need in China town is the area around Phil-Am grocery worth exploring?

          1. re: balini

            It's worth exploring if you like Filipino bbq (Ihawan), bakery (Krystals), some other random Filipino restos, plus the other ethnic foods and stores that line Roosevelt Ave (lots of South American). It's also easy to just walk along Roosevelt, then get back on the subway to head back to Manhattan since the subway runs along Roosevelt. There's other Filipino markets in Queens, but Phil-Am's right off the subway and fairly close to the city.

            Chances are you should be able to find what you're looking for in Chinatown, but if not, Queens isn't that far away.

        2. Frozen ube: Hong Kong Supermarket, Asia Market, Johnny Air Mart
          Fresh: Hong Kong Supermarket in season. I haven't seen it anywhere else in Queens or Manhattan, but speaking from experience, the frozen ube is fine for making a cake, although I much more prefer jalea. I haven't looked for the flour, but I imagine they must have it in the pinoy section at Hong Kong Supermarket, if not Johnny Air Mart.