Ube (Safou, Atanga, African Bush Pear. Nsafu, Bush Butter Fruit)

Ube (Safou, Atanga, African Bush Pear. Nsafu, Bush Butter Fruit)

A perfectly cooked Ube

Ube is in season and I love Ube a lot. This is the third post I’m making on the blog about Ube. Corn season is also Ube season here in Nigeria, and you will find Ube sold alongside corn. I buy a lot of fresh Ube to make myself because many people don’t cook it well. There is a tendency to always find overcooked Ube by a street vendor.

(Top) Fresh halved Ube revealing split centre seed.
(Bottom) Halved Ube revealing whole seed in centre

Ube is a hard purple oblong-shaped fruit with a seed in the inside seasonal tropical fruit with the botanical name
Dacryodes Edulis. It is also known as Safou, Atanga, African Bush Pear, African Bush Plum, Nsafu, Bush Butter Fruit … and it is native to West Africa. Ube has to be cooked to be eaten.

Bowl of fresh Ube

This for me is how the perfect Ube should look. Plump, purple on the outside and buttery pale lime green on the inside.

Cooking Ube

I like to blanch my ube in hot water for 3-5 minutes covered and then douse with cold water and just leave it. It will be cooked through, and delicious.
Ube can quickly become overcooked, sometimes you see some it has been so cooked the inside flesh is grey or a weird brown.

  • Wash Ube gently but thoroughly to get rid of sand.
  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Once boiled, dunk the Ube in it for no longer than 3 minutes and strain. (You can salt the water if you like but it’s unnecessary
  • Ube can also be steam cooked, cooked over a coal fire, placed on top of a hot pot to cook… it pretty much needs just a little bit of heat.

Ube is versatile and aside from eating it with corn, you can get creative with it. Like add it seafood boil

Ube in seafood boil.

Ube Guacamole or hummus. I use it as a dip for chips and some chopped vegetables

Ube Guacamole or Hummus on a platter

I love to rub mashed Ube on boiled corn

3 thoughts on “Ube (Safou, Atanga, African Bush Pear. Nsafu, Bush Butter Fruit)

  1. I have a huge backlog of your blog posts to catch up on but in the meantime, I’ll just feed my eyes on this purple, pear-ish goodness and hope I get the strength to get off my lazy butt and try one of your recipes. But I still swear by your bitter leaf soup recipe and you’re not even an Igbo woman! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

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