After dying eggs with tea, we wanted to try some of the other natural dying methods floating around the internet. This time our goal was to achieve bold blues and greens, so we tested out three new ingredients – tumeric, red cabbage and yukari (dried red shiso).
Preparation | 準備
The basic idea here was to extract the color from our ingredients with hot water, so the preparation was pretty easy:
Red cabbage – My local supermarket only had a half head in stock, so that’s all I used. Chop it up a bit and drop it straight into a pot.
Tumeric – We bought a big container quite cheaply at Costco and put 6 tablespoons into a stainless steel bowl. Be careful where you put this dye because it’s very strong!
Yukari – I treated this like a tea, dumping the dried herb into the loose leaf strainer on our tea pot.
Dying Method | 染め方
Start by boiling your eggs. My favorite method is to cover the eggs in cold water, bring it to a rolling boil for a minute or so, then cover the pot and remove from the heat. The amount of time you let the eggs sit will determine their done-ness – we usually do 10-12 minutes – then quickly rinse with cold water and ice to stop the cooking.
*If you want bolder colors, I’ve read that you should make your dyes first, strain them, then cook the eggs directly in the dye. We didn’t follow this method, but will link back here if we test it out in the future!
We followed the same ratio as with our tea dyes and added about 1 tablespoon of vinegar per 500 mL of water.
For the red cabbage dye, simply cover your chopped cabbage with water and add vinegar. If you use 500 mL of water, use 1 tbsp white vinegar; if you use 1 L of water, add 2 tbsp, etc. Boil the cabbage for about 30 minutes, or until most of the color seems to have drained from the leaves, then strain.
- Tip: We experimented a bit and found that adding a pinch of baking soda to the dye (as in the bottom cup) deepened the color a bit and resulted in a slightly different shade of blue.
For the tumeric dye, we poured 4 cups (about 1 liter) of hot water into the bowl to dissolve 6 tablespoons of tumeric powder.
- Tip: Even after stirring it, the solution seemed a bit chalky, so I would start with 4-5 tablespoons in the same amount of water next time.
The tumeric dye acts quickly, producing a light yellow shade after just a minute or two, but we let ours sit for about 20-30 minutes for a bolder color that we could place in the cabbage dyes to make teal.
ターメリックはかなり早く染まります。薄い色→1 or 2分、濃い色→20−30分
- Tip: Worried about touching the eggs too much and weakening the dye, we plopped the yellow eggs into the blue dyes without drying or dusting off the leftover tumeric. The final effect was interesting, but I might take those steps if I did this again to produce more even colors.
For the yukari dye, we poured hot water into the tea pot and let it steep until it reached a rich fuchsia. We plopped in two eggs, removing one after about 5 hours and leaving one to sit for over 12 hours, but the difference in color wasn’t too dramatic.
Since wanted deep colors, we let the eggs sit in the cabbage and yukari dyes in the fridge overnight.
Results | 結果
We were really pleased with the results this time, too!
The tumeric produces a yellow color.
ターメリック → 黄色
The red cabbage makes brighter shades of blue.
紫キャベツ → 明るい青
And the yukari resulted in shades of indigo and navy.
ゆかり → ネイビー
All of the other colors came from playing around with dying times, dipping dyes eggs into other colors (mostly using the red cabbage dye second), and whether the cabbage dye had the pinch of baking soda or not.
Other Colors | その他の色
There are several other ingredient suggestions that we’ve seen around, but haven’t tried yet. Here are some ideas:
Blueberries – I’ve seen a suggested ratio of 1 cup berries to 1 cup water, boiled and strained like the red cabbage or by putting frozen blueberries in water and letting them come to room temperature before straining. The result is supposed to be more of a greyish-blue or indigo, which may be similar to yukari or hibiscus tea dyes.
Onion skins – The brown papery skins of yellow onions create an orangy-brown dye and the skins from red onions could produce a jade green dye or a reddish-lavender, I’ve seen both colors listed! The ratios of skins/water/vinegar may be a little different, but the method is the same as the red cabbage.
Beets – This seems to be the only way to get a deep pink dye, again using the same approach as our red cabbage dye above with fresh beets. It seems like grating the beets before boiled is the method of choice.
Chamomile tea – We used a chamomile blend in our tea dying experiment, but would like to try again for the pale yellow-green color this tea is supposed to create.
Paprika – Using powdered paprika in a style similar to tumeric should produce a soft orangy-red, but you may need a little more vinegar than our tumeric method above.
Carrots – Chopping up some carrots and boiling them in water, straining and adding vinegar makes a warm yellow dye.
Coffee – Dyes eggs a rich brown, depending of course on how long you let the eggs soak.
Red Zinger tea – I’ve seen articles saying this will produce a lavender dye, following the tea method from our previous post.
Grape juice – Some people suggest adding vinegar, but others say this will work as-is to dye your eggs shades of lavender as well.
Spinach – It seems like dying eggs yellow then dipping in blue is the most surefire way to make green, but boiling chopped spinach in place of red cabbage may also work for a softer green color.
Cranberry juice – Similar to grape juice, this may be a quick and easy way to make pink eggs.
Have you tried any of these methods? Did you get the color eggs you were expecting? Let us know if you have any tips, tricks or feedback!