Monday, March 12, 2012

Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potato - Delicious

Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potato - Delicious

 Hale Moana Bed & Breakfast serves Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potatoes as one of its Island Gourmet breakfast specials: 

Article by Sonia Martinez

When walking around the framers markets that dot our island you might notice some strange-looking sweet potatoes or, as they are called in Hawaiian, 'uala. Some vendors will have a couple of them cut in half so that you can see the color of the flesh. Although the outside of the sweet potato can be light brown or almost white, the inside will be a deep purple! We call these Hawaiian or Okinawan sweet potatoes.

The taste is sweeter than the orange sweet potatoes you might be used to eating. The purple sweet potatoes are free of fat and cholesterol; an excellent source of vitamins A, C, B6, potassium plus iron; loaded with antioxidants and minerals, besides being a good source for carbohydrates and fiber.

According to studies and research done by the College of Agriculture, University of Hawaii, the sweet potato is the seventh most important food crop worldwide and, along with taro, was a major staple of the early Hawaiians. Originally, there were about 230 varieties of sweet potato cultivated in old Hawaii. Of these 24 were still cultivated in the 1940s, with about six varieties growing today.

Sweet potatoes are very versatile as they can be boiled, roasted, sauteed, fried or baked; dipped in tempura batter and deep-fried; mashed and mixed with coconut cream and ginger and made into a delicious soup, and prepared in many more different ways, from simply mashed, in salads and also as delicious filling for sweet potato pie!

The leaves and tender shoots can also be eaten by throwing them into soups or stews or chopping them into a stir fry. Sometimes the same vendor selling the purple sweet potatoes will also sell the green shoots..

Recipe: Purple Sweet Potato and Watercress Salad with Citrus Viaigrette

Sweet potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed, fresh watercress sprigs, served on a bed of garden greens. Sprinkle with the citrus vinaigrette.

Citrus Vinaigrette: 2/3 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon honey, freshly ground pepper. Whisk all ingredients together and keep refrigerated. may be kept refrigerated for up to a week. 

The citrus vinaigrette is very light, slightly sweet; neither the rice wine vinegar nor the mustard are overpowering.

By writer Sonia Martinez,


  1. I love sweet potatoes, especially when it is served as a side dish with coconut milk and mint leaves. It whets my appetite for more food!

    Shanae Buckner

  2. Looks great. We make sweet potato chips and taro chips here on the Big Island. Please let us know if you are ever looking for a locally made snack for your guests: