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  • Mari

How to color rice with Natural ingredients

Updated: Jan 25, 2020

It’s a pride month and this year’s celebration is extra special, celebrating 50 years anniversary! I can spot a rainbow color everywhere in NY city. One of the things I love about NY is its diversity. There are people from all over the world with so many different backgrounds, cultures, and histories. There are many same-sex parents in our kid’s school and my kids don’t think twice about having 2 same-sex parents. That’s just a norm to them. Many of their friends have come out at a young age as well, and they are fully accepting who they really are. I personally feel blessed to be able to raise our kids in such an open-minded environment. I’m a huge fan of Pride celebration. It’s is so much fun, exciting, vibrant and colorful and it’s like a huge party that involves all over the city. I’m also excited to support all my LGTB friends and the community. So today, in part of pride celebration, I’d like to share how I color rice with all natural ingredient without using any food coloring. I try to use as much organic ingredients as possible, but sometimes when I buy already made pickles and dried veggie, they are not fully 100% organic… in those cases, I do have to compromise…. I wish I could make those pickles from scratch, but I don’t know how… and don’t think I have the skill nor time to make them…… So sometimes it’s not 100% organic, but please bear with me….

Below is the list of what I use to color rice and how each color looks like:

1 – Pink – Beetroot

Pink color with Beet juice

I usually use juices from pickled beets. I like that the color is really vibrant and it adds some nice earthy flavor. You can change the shade of pink by adding more/ less of beet juice. I’d try to add little by little. All you need is a very small amount.

2. Yellow – Japanese Kabocha Pumpkin

Mashed Pumpkin for yellow color

I peel the green skins, cut them into small pieces and cook them in the microwave. Then mash them to a very fine paste and mixed with sushi rice. It can get get a bit sticky and dense, so I also use fine egg York scramble as well which make the mixed rice lighter (not too dense).

3. Green – Mashed spinach

Mashed spinach for Green color

I boil the handful of spinach, mash them really fine to make it more like a green paste. Then I mixed them with rice. It makes a really nice green and it’s healthy as well.

4. Orange – mashed carrots

I used the same method as spinach. I peel them, cook them, mash there really fine to make the orange paste. Then I mixed them with rice.

5. Purple – Red cabbage juice + Yukari Rice seasoning

I use red cabbage juice for purple color. First, I cut red cabbage leaves, boil them for 10 – 15 mins until you get dark purple juice. Then I mix this juice with sushi rice and add some Yukari rice seasoning to add some flavor. Yukari rice seasoning is made by dried red Shiso (Japanese basil) leaves and you can get it from here if you don’t have a Japanese grocery store nearby.

6. Blue – Red cabbage juice + baking soda

I really wanted to find a good blue natural food coloring and researched for a while. I tried Blue Spirulina, but it was a bit too bright blue for me. It just looked unnatural color for sushi, so I continue my search to look for a more lighter blue, like closer to baby blue. Then I found a few articles like this to add baking soda to red cabbage juice to make blue food coloring. So one day, I decided to give it a try. As I made purple food coloring, I chopped a few red cabbage leaves, add water and bailed them for 10-15 mins till I get dark purple juice. Then I started to a bit of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon at a time till I get a nice blue color. Then I mixed this blue juice to sushi rice and it made really nice pale blue sushi rice. So these are the main color that I use to make all Kazari sushi. They are all natural healthy ingredients and I’m happy to use them for kids. I hope you’ll give it a try a well. In my next post, I will show you how to make a rainbow sushi roll with using all these different colors of rice. I hope you’ll enjoy that as well. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and happy pride month.



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