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How to dye eggs naturally December 21, 2008

Posted by AnnaTheRed in how-to (all), how-to - decorations/basic stuff.
Tags: , , , , ,

I wrote in the Professor Layton bento post that the color blue is kind of a taboo color in the kyaraben world. In Japan, kyaraben are mostly for kids, and many moms try their best not to use food coloring in bento.
Any processed food contains food coloring, and I don’t freak out about it. I wanted to use minimal food coloring in my bento, so I looked for ways to dye food naturally.

[How to dye an egg naturally]

– curry powder or turmeric

– purple cabbage
– vinegar

[Light blue]
– purple cabbage

I forgot to put vinegar in this shot. 😛

[Yellow egg]
1. Put a little bit of curry powder (or turmeric) into a glass of hot water, and mix well. Make sure you have enough water to completely cover the egg.

2. Put a hard-boiled egg in the water and leave it for 20~30 minutes. (stir it every 10 minutes or so)

[Pink and light blue egg]
1. Chop a leaf of purple cabbage, and leave it in hot water for 10~15 minutes.

2. Remove the cabbage using a drainer, and pour the water into a small bowl or glass.
3. For a pink egg: Put a little bit (about a teaspoon) of vinegar into the water, and mix well.

The color immediately turns pink!

The color immediately turns pink!

Left: purple cabbage with vinegar, Right: purple cabbage

4. Put the hard-boiled egg in the colored water and leave it for 20~30 minutes. (stir it every 10 minutes or so)

Arent they cute?

Aren't they cute?

That’s it!
How long you leave the egg in the water is up to you. I wrote 20~30 minutes, because that’s how long I left the egg in the water.
I found out that a shot glass is the perfect size for dyeing a quail egg. Curry powder and purple cabbage may dye plastic containers, so used glass or porcelain containers for this project.

I put seaweed eyes and a carrot beak on an yellow quail egg to make a chick for my Farm bento. I used purplish blue dye to dye kamaboko (fish cake) for EVE’s eye for my Wall-E bento. I haven’t posted either of them on my blog yet, but you can see the pictures on my boyfriend’s flickr page.

While I was doing research on the color blue in food, I learned something very interesting. “…blue is an appetite suppressant. Weight loss plans suggest putting your food on a blue plate. Or even better than that, put a blue light in your refrigerator and watch your munchies disappear.” (from Color Matters) So be careful not to use too much blue in your food.

You can see more pictures of “How to dye egg” on my flickr page.
And if you have any questions about any of my how-to’s, please feel free to leave a comment or email me!


1. Shreela - December 22, 2008

I put some diced beets into my pickled eggs, and they came out pink. But I don’t have beets right now, and do have purple cabbage LOL, thanks!

2. Wendy Leow - December 22, 2008

i didn’t know you can do this!! can’t wait to try this
will the eggs taste the same??

annathered - December 24, 2008

Yes, the egg will pretty much taste the same. The curry one smells a bit like curry, but it’s not strong, and if you wash it well, you won’t notice the smell at all. (The color won’t come off)
Good luck!

3. Doctress Julia - January 14, 2009

How do you color with turmeric? Do you add it to the water? Tell me, tell me, please. 🙂

4. TK - March 16, 2009

I imagine some saffron would also work as dye.

5. anon - May 7, 2009

I wonder if different Teas could be used for this too. I know Rasberry Zinger from Celestial Seasons is a very rich deep red color.

6. cakuLi - July 28, 2009

Amazing… you are so briliant! and now i can make some colour for my egg…and it’s natural…thx

7. anthony - August 30, 2009

i learn so much from ur bog… a lot of brilliants ideas for my party food.

8. velveteenbunnies - September 14, 2009

Ahhh~~ tis is the one u talking about~ *grab a note*
Is it only for egg,sis?how about we put a rice into it? XD

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