Ube Vs Taro – What’s The Difference?

ube vs taro
10 min reading time

When it comes to Ube and Taro, there’s a lot of confusion about the two. Some people think they’re the same thing, while others believe that they’re different versions of the same tuber.

So, what’s the difference between Ube and Taro? In this post, we’ll clear up the confusion once and for all by taking a closer look at these two plants. Spoiler alert: Ube is not the same as Taro! Keep reading to find out more.

What is Ube?

The word “Ube” comes from Tagalog. Ube is a type of purple yam that is popular in Filipino and other Southeast Asian cuisines. It has a distinctive purple color, and its flesh is both sweet and starchy.

Ube is very similar to red yams and sweet potatoes in both flavour and texture when cooked. It’s difficult to find a distinct difference. However, it’s a bit dryer than sweet potatoes and red yams and gives it a slight feeling of powder.

Ube can be eaten cooked or raw, and it is often used as a natural food coloring. In addition to its culinary uses, Ube is also known for its medicinal properties. It is said to help with digestion and upset stomachs, and it is also a good source of vitamins A and C.

So whether you’re looking for a colorful ingredient for your next dish or a natural remedy for an upset stomach, Ube is definitely worth trying.

What is Taro?

Taro ( Colocasia esculenta) is a herbaceous tropical plant that is native to the southeast region of Asia and is part of the Araceae family as well as the malanga and eddo roots. 

With leaves that resemble elephant ears, the Taro plant is known for its edible corms, which are a food popular throughout food chains in the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean.

It has a starchy texture and a slightly sweet flavor, and it is often used in soups, stews, and curries.

Taro is a source of several important nutrients, including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. It also contains several antioxidants that can help to protect against cell damage.

In addition to being eaten as a vegetable, Taro can also be used to make flour, and it is sometimes used as a thickening agent in soups and sauces. Taro can be found in most Asian markets, and it is an important ingredient in many traditional dishes.

Is Ube Sweeter Than Taro?

Ube and Taro are two popular root vegetables that are often used in sweet dishes. While they have a similar appearance, they actually have quite different flavors.

Ube is much sweeter than Taro, with a delicate floral flavor that is often compared to vanilla or almond. Taro, on the other hand, has a more starchy flavor that is similar to potatoes.

When cooked, Taro also has a slightly sticky texture, while ube remains firm and fluffy. So if you’re looking for a sweet treat, ube is the way to go!

When it comes to Ube vs Taro, there’s no clear winner. Both dishes offer their own unique flavor and texture profile, but for a truly authentic experience, you can’t go wrong with either Chow Mein or Lo Mein. Whether you opt for the crunchy noodles of Chow Mein or the soft and chewy ones of Lo Mein, both deliver an unforgettable culinary experience that is sure to please your palate.

Ube vs Taro: Differences

Ube vs Taro – A Detailed Comparison

While Ube and Taro share some similarities, they are distinct ingredients that offer unique taste experiences. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between Ube and Taro:

ColorPurpleLight brown or white
FlavorSubtly sweet, nuttyEarthy, nutty
TextureSmooth, slightly starchyDense, starchy
OriginPhilippinesTropics of South and Southeast Asia
Culinary UsesPrimarily used in desserts but can be used in savory dishesUsed in both sweet and savory dishes, including stews, soups, and chips

1. Appearance

Ube and Taro are two tubers that are often used in Asian cuisine. They have similar nutritional profiles and can be used in many of the same dishes. However, there are some major differences between these two ingredients.

Appearance-wise, Ube is typically brighter purple than Taro. It also has a smoother, more uniform texture. When cooked, ube becomes very creamy and rich, while Taro can be a bit more starchy. flavor-wise, ube is often described as being nutty or earthy, while Taro typically has a sweeter taste.

So, when choosing between Ube and Taro for your next meal, it really comes down to personal preference. Both ingredients are nutritious and versatile, so you can’t go wrong either way!

2. Origin

Ube is native to the Philippines, where it is often used in desserts. In contrast, Taro is native to Southeast Asia and is commonly used in savory dishes. When it comes to taste, Ube is slightly sweeter than Taro and has a creamier texture.

Additionally, Ube is typically purple in color, while Taro can range from white to purple. Ultimately, whether you choose Ube or Taro will depend on your personal preference.

3. Flavor

Ube and Taro are two popular ingredients in many Asian dishes. Both of these root vegetables have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, but there are some distinct differences between them.

Ube is often described as being more earthy and starchy, while Taro is sweeter and more floral. When cooked, Ube tends to be softer and creamier, while Taro maintains a firmer texture. These subtle flavor differences make Ube and Taro perfect for use in different recipes.

For example, Ube is often used in savory dishes like stews or curries, while Taro is more commonly used in sweet desserts like pies or puddings. Ultimately, it’s up to the cook to decide which ingredient will best suit their dish.

4. Texture

Ube and taro are both root vegetables commonly used in Asian cuisine, but they have distinct differences in texture.

Ube, also known as purple yam, is native to the Philippines. It has a slightly sweet taste and a smooth, creamy texture when cooked. This makes it ideal for use in desserts like cakes, ice cream, and pastries.

On the other hand, taro is a starchy root vegetable that is a staple in many Polynesian diets. It has a more fibrous texture and a nutty flavor. When cooked, taro can have a somewhat gritty texture, similar to a potato. Taro is often used in savory dishes, but can also be used in sweet dishes when combined with coconut milk or sugar.

However, the exact texture can vary depending on how these root vegetables are prepared and cooked. For instance, boiling tends to make them softer, while roasting can give them a firmer texture.

5. Ingredient pairing

When it comes to ingredient pairing, Ube goes well with coconut milk and palm sugar while Taro pairs well with ginger and fish sauce. So, if you’re looking for a sweet and creamy dish, Ube is the way to go. If you’re in the mood for something savory, Taro is your best bet.

6. Culinary uses

Ube and Taro are both tubers that are widely used in Asian cuisine. They have similar appearances, but there are some key differences between them.

Culinary uses for Ube include making ice cream, cakes, and other desserts. In contrast, Taro is most commonly used in savory dishes such as stews and soups. It has a slightly nutty flavor and is often used as a replacement for potatoes or rice.

While Ube and Taro are both versatile ingredients, they should be used differently to best showcase their unique flavors.

Ube vs Taro: Detailed differences

Why do People Confuse Taro and Ube?

Taro and Ube are two very different root vegetables. Taro is a starchy root vegetable that is often used in savory dishes, while Ube is a sweet potato-like vegetable that is most commonly used in desserts.

While they may have similar appearances, they have very different flavors. Taro has a nutty taste that is often compared to chestnuts, while Ube has a sweet, slightly floral flavor.

So why do people so often confuse these two vegetables? Part of the reason may be that they are both native to Asia and have been used in traditional Asian cuisine for centuries.

In addition, Taro and Ube are both often used to make purple-colored dishes, which can further add to the confusion. However, with a little bit of knowledge about these two delicious vegetables, it should be easy to tell them apart.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Ube from the Philippines or from Japan?

Some people argue that Ube is from the Philippines while others say it’s from Japan. I’ve done a bit of research on the matter, and it seems like there isn’t a clear answer.

It’s believed that Ube was first brought to the Philippines by Japanese settlers in the 1800s. Since then, it has become a popular ingredient in Filipino cuisine.

There are even some Filipino dishes that are made entirely of Ube, like Ube Halaya (a type of pudding). However, there are also many Japanese dishes that use Ube, so it’s tough to say where it truly originates from.

Is Taro poisonous?

Yes, Taro root is poisonous in large quantities, but it’s also a very healthy vegetable that is low in calories and high in fiber. Taro contains toxins called cyanogenic glycosides which can be harmful if eaten in large quantities, but these toxins are eliminated when the Taro is cooked.

So Taro is safe to eat as long as you don’t consume too much at once. Enjoy!

What does Ube ice cream taste like?

Ube ice cream has a sweet, earthy flavor and a creamy texture. Some describe the taste as being similar to sweet potatoes, vanilla, or pistachios. The ice cream is typically brightly colored, often with shades of purple or pink.

Is Taro milk tea made of Ube?

No, Taro milk tea typically isn’t made with ube. Ube is a type of yam that’s often used in Filipino desserts and sometimes added to regular Taro milk tea to give it a purple color and natural sweetness. While Taro root does have a slightly nutty flavor, it’s not as pronounced as ube.

Is purple yam and Ube the same?

They are related, but not the same. Ube is a variety of purple yam that is grown in the Philippines. It has a slightly different flavor and texture than other purple yams.

Which is sweeter, Taro or Ube?

Ube is sweeter than Taro. Taro has a more earthy flavor, while Ube is reminiscent of vanilla and cream.

What makes Taro show a purple color?

There are a few different factors that can contribute to Taro turning purple. One possibility is that the soil it was grown in contains high levels of iron.

Another possibility is that the Taro was exposed to cold temperatures at some point during its growth cycle, which can cause anthocyanin pigments to develop in the tuber.

Finally, some varieties of Taro are simply bred to be purple in color. Whatever the reason, purple Taro is just as delicious as its more traditional white or brown counterparts!

Are Taro and Ube the same as a purple sweet potato?

Yes, they are all the same as purple sweet potatoes. Taro is a root vegetable that is often boiled and mashed like potatoes. Ube is a popular dessert ingredient in the Philippines made from boiled and grated Ube, which is a type of yam.

Both Taro and Ube have a natural sweetness and are often used in desserts.


So there you have it – the difference between Ube and Taro. Both are delicious but in very different ways. If you’re ever in doubt about what to order, just ask! The Philippines is a melting pot of cultures and food, so you’re sure to find something that will tantalize your taste buds. Thanks for reading, and happy eating!

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