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How to dye rice naturally December 21, 2008

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

Well it’s not really “dyeing” rice, more like how to change the color of rice for your bento.
I use these methods a lot to make Totoro, or backgrounds with rice. It’s not much, but since rice is white, changing the color of rice can make a quite difference in your bento.

[How to dye rice gray-ish] (used in “Sleeping Totoro”, etc…)
– rice
– black sesame seed (with a sesame seed grinder or mortar and pestle)
– salt

Japanese sesame seed grinder. You don't need it, but it's very convenient.

1. Grind black sesame seeds on hot rice (microwave the rice if it’s cold) and mix it well

2. Add a bit of salt as you mix the rice. Add more black sesame seeds to make it darker.

[How to dye rice yellow] (used in “God Warrior vs Ohmu”,“Professor Layton”)
– rice
– curry powder or turmeric
– ketchup

1. Mix a bit of curry powder into hot rice. (microwave the rice if it’s cold)

2. Put a bit of ketchup into the rice and mix it well.

I always put “a bit of” for the measurement of the ingredients, but it’s always safe to mix a small amount of spice/ingredients, and then add a bit more later if needed.

You can see more pictures of “How to dye rice” 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. Angel - January 14, 2009

Thankyou I never thought of putting ketchup with rice. Hmmm I might try that since i don’t like the plain flavor of rice and usually want something more salty.

2. Kayleigh - January 20, 2009

annother one I use (at halloween for ‘maggots’ lol is putting a piece if beetroot in the rice cooker when cooking, it makes the rice go pink! and if you use brown rice makes it look like magots lol

3. personal_mythos - March 7, 2009

I would have never thought to add ketchup to yellow rice. I always just put the turmeric in with the rice when I cook it, and even brown rice turns bright yellow.

Obviously this isn’t convenient if you only want a little yellow rice, but something like 1/4-1/2 teaspoon per cup of (uncooked) rice seems to work well… I forget the exact amounts. Turmeric by itself isn’t very flavorful, either, which can be good or bad.

4. Isaius - June 19, 2009

You can also dye rice and pastas naturally with cooked beets juice (and I suppose it also works for eggs). You’ll have a pretty pink !

5. Mer - September 15, 2009

Great ideas!

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