Purple Pancakes

Ube signHaving recently discovered Asahi Grill, the home of famous oxtail soup, Max and I were not surprised to learn that the K Streets are home to other gustatory delights. Today we found the home of Ube Pancakes.

ube pancake 2

I like how the single strawberry is added for color.

Ube (Dioscorea alata in the words of Livia Drusilla) is a Filipino word for a type of purple yam.

It is used extensively in the Philippines in all sorts of treats from cakes and buns to ice cream and jams.

People sometimes confuse the yam with the Okinawa sweet potato which is also purple. This is a grave error, punishable by extra servings of purple yam paste.

Wikipedia provides a somewhat nebulous definition of ube: “In English alone, aside from purple yam, other common names include greater yam, Guyana arrowroot, ten-months yam, water yam, white yam, winged yam, or simply yam.”

In Filipino this is called "ubehalaya". It is ube jam.

In Filipino this is called “ubehalaya”. It is ube jam.

Thanks, Wiki. How about you explain why a purple yam is sometimes called a “white yam?”

What is this, Lewis Carroll day at Wikipedia? ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” I get it: snark, slithy, jabberwocky and purple yam.

As befits the mixed up, blended, swirled, shaken and stirred ethnic recipe that is Honolulu itself, the home of good old American pancakes made with Filipino purple yams is…wait for it…a Korean restaurant.

Yogur Story at night.

Yogur Story at night. A Trip Advisor photo.

Yes, we can now reveal that the home of ube pancakes is a place named Yogur Story. As far as Max and I can determine, “Yogur” means “Didja lose the “t” from your keyboard, Mr. Kim?”

Come to think of it, yogur does sound like something you’d read in “Through the Looking Glass” so maybe Wikipedia had the hang of it after all.

On the other hand, yogur sounds like something described under the heading “Distressed Bowel Syndrome” in The Lancet. But I digress

The name sounds like regurgitation but the interior is quite attractive. Yelper photo.

The name sounds like regurgitation but the interior is quite attractive. Yelper photo.

Ube pancakes get rave reviews on Yelp: “Light, fluffy, purple.”

Max and I might have stopped in for some of this goodness but, alas, Yogur Story is not open during our early morning prowling hours.

So again we trudged with empty bellies down the K Streets in search of things strange and wonderful.

And frabjous.

11 replies

  1. Those pancakes sound as if they should be served in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe…though perhaps that’s what Yogur Story translates to from the Korean….accompanied by Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters…


    • Come on over and we’ll chow down together! I’m curious to know if the ube makes pancakes taste very different. I hope so. If I eat violently purple pancakes I want them to taste like violently purple pancakes, whatever that may be.


  2. Purple is such an awesome color…one of my favorites…I just might try them someday…they may be absolutely delicious!!!! This was a very cool post!!!!


  3. Hmm, I’ve seen purple princess costumes, purple hair, but can’t recall the last time I saw purple food. You’ll have to do a ‘restaurant’ review sometime and let us know if Yogur Story knocks it out of the ballpark with their purple concoction gastronomically speaking. 🙂


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