I went to Trader Joe’s recently with the mindset of stocking up on only pantry staples–milk, cheese, bread, avocados, nothing else–but then I came across a non-essential pancake mix that was anything but. I’m talking about the new Trader Joe’s ube mochi pancake mix. When my eyes met its cheery purple polka dotted packaging, I had to learn more. Then I moved closer, and it had me at the words “ube mochi”. Into the cart it went. How exciting is it to have a pancake mix with Asian flavors in it? You don’t normally see ube, a purple yam varietal common in the Philippines, and mochi, which is sticky rice dough used in Japanese sweets, in the ingredient list of anything, ever! So in it went, becoming my next day breakfast project.
The pancakes are super easy to make, and they taste surprisingly great. You just need to add water, eggs and melted butter to the mix. Sometimes these fun bake mixes promise the world and deliver only some of it, but the ube mochi pancakes did not disappoint. It’s a little more chewy than cakey, probably due to the mochi in it, and I absolutely loved that chewier texture. I’ve actually never had ube before, only regular sweet potatoes, so I wasn’t sure what to expect flavor-wise. If you’ve ever had taro-flavored ice cream, it tastes similar to that. Everyone loved these purple ube mochi pancakes, even the kids, which is why this will be part of the regular lineup in my Trader Joe’s shopping cart.