Ube vs Taro: What Is What?

Ube vs taro

Ube vs. taro, is there a difference? There are many, actually. Ube and taro are two completely different plants, although they might look similar at first glance. However, when you cut them open, ube has insides of a light purple color, while taro has white flesh.

Both ube and taro are root vegetables from the sweet potato family and they are popular in Asian cuisine. Still, there are many noticeable differences between these two vegetables, so keep reading to learn more!

Ube Vs Taro


As already mentioned, the first difference you will notice is in their appearance. Although their outer skin can look similar, once you cut these two root vegetables in half, you will see that ube has an intense purple color, while taro has a light color with purple or brown speckled dots.


Ube, also known as purple yam, has a sweet and rich flavor. In Filipino cuisine, this root vegetable is used in various dessert recipes.

Its sweet flavor is described as a mixture of vanilla, white chocolate, and honey. Unlike ube, taro root has a raw, starchy, and slightly nutty flavor with only a slight sweetness.


Ube has a texture similar to potatoes, only a bit dryer. However, cooked ube has a lush and creamy texture. Taro, on the other hand, becomes soft and custard-like when cooked, but it still remains somewhat chalky and grainy.


Since these two vegetables are so different when it comes to taste and texture, it makes sense that they are used for different recipes. As already mentioned, ube is extremely popular in Filipino cuisine, and it is used to make various sweet treats.

It is a popular ice cream flavor, and ube cake is considered a delicacy. Ube halaya is another popular dessert made of cooked and mashed ube or powdered ube, coconut milk, and butter. There are many other desserts that contain ube, and they are usually made with milk, cream cheese, and cheese.

Ube extract is often used when making breads, puddings, pies, and cupcakes. Not only does it add that sweet flavor, but it also adds the purple coloring to those dishes. Ube powder is also used in various Filipino dessert recipes.

However, ube root is rarely used for making savory food. Although it is a starchy vegetable, it works the best for sweet dishes.

On the other hand, taro roots can be used for both sweet and savory dishes. Taro is used in various dishes in Southeast Asia.

Taro’s taste is more subtle than ube taste, which allows it to blend in with the other ingredients. One of the most popular recipes that use taro is boba tea, but you can also find taro in bubble tea and milk tea.

Taro powder and taro paste can sometimes be sweetened when they are used for sweet dishes because, although fairly sweet, they still have that starchy and almost tarty flavor

In the age when social media dictates not only fashion but also culinary trends, dishes that contain ube are slightly more popular because they are more colorful and more “instagrammable”.

Nutritive Value

While ube can look more appealing due to its beautiful color and sweet taste, both ube and taro have numerous health benefits. Taro root is full of fibers and it helps you control your sugar levels, while ube is rich in antioxidants and will help you reduce high blood pressure.

Although ube has a sweeter flavor than taro, it has less calories. One cup of cooked ube has 140 calories, while the same amount of cooked taro has 187 calories.


Taro originated from Southeast Asia, and today it can be found in Japan, India, China, Hong Kong, and even Australia and New Zealand. Ube originated from Philippines, and it has a rich history because many generations of Filipinos used this root crop in various recipes.

Is Taro Same As Purple Yam?

No, taro isn’t the same as purple yam. Purple yams are actually ube roots, and we just explained all the differences between ube and taro. Other name for taro roots is Dasheen.

What Tastes Better Ube Or Taro?

Ube is often used in desserts such as ube ice cream and ube cakes. It has a very distinct flavor that is often described as being similar to that of white chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.

Taro, on the other hand, is more commonly used in savory dishes such as stews and curries. Its flavor is more subdued and earthy than ube.

So, which root vegetable does taste better? It all depends on your personal preferences. If you like strong, distinct flavors, then ube is probably the better choice for you. However, if you prefer more subtle and earthy flavors, then taro may be a better option.

Which Is Sweeter Ube Or Taro?

Ube is a purple sweet potato that has a noticeably sweeter flavor than taro. That’s why taro can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, while ube is not a great choice for savory food.

Is Taro Boba Actually Ube?

While both ube and taro go well with boba pearls and can be used to make boba tea, these teas won’t be the same. Boba tea made with taro will be less sweet than boba tea made with ube.

Of course, you can add sweeteners to taro boba to achieve the desired sweetness level, but no, taro boba isn’t actually ube boba.


So, now you know more about ube vs taro! Although they look similar at the first sight, there are many differences between them When cut open, ube is purple, while taro is almost white. Ube is sweet, and taro has a nutty flavor. The list goes on!

Which one is better depends solely on your personal preferences. Take all their differences into consideration before choosing which one of these root vegetables you like more!

Have you ever tried taro boba or ube boba? Which one did you like more? Share in the comments!

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