Can You Eat Dyed Rice

In this article, we will answer the question “Can You Eat Dyed Rice”, also discuss how to make dyed rice and related topics of the subject. 

Can You Eat Dyed Rice?

Yes, you can eat dyed rice if they dye using edible dyes. 

In a book “History of Customs in the Ming Dynasty” was mentioned that in Zhejiang’s “Gui’an Country” on April 8th people dyed rice with eucalyptus leaves. Based on the story, people are able to color rice using edible dyes found in nature.

Nowadays, many people are innovating with the aim of giving food appeal. One of the innovations is coloring the food using edible dyes. Actually, coloring the food using edible dyes originated several times ago. 

People in Asian countries often consume yellow rice. The rice has white original color but colored using turmeric or saffron. In Sri Lanka, yellow rice is known as kaha buth and in Indonesia it is known as nasi kuning also in Philippines they call them as kuning. 

How To Make Dyed Rice?

In this part, we will show you the steps on how to dye rice in two ways (as edible rice and as a sensory bin play).

For edible dye rice, if you want to make a rainbow color, you need to prepare at least four different natural colors or food coloring. When you use natural color, prepare saffron as a yellow color, beets for red color, spinach for green color, and blueberries for blue color. 

Boil every source of natural color until the boiling water turns into yellow, red, green, and blue. Prepare 1 big cup of rice. The rice can be any kind of rice (basmati, jasmine, and Japanese rice) and divide it into four portions depending on the color you want. 

Put every portion into ziplock plastic bags and pour the coloring water, soak them for a few minutes and seal the plastic bags. Then, lay each color out to dry on paper towels. Your dyed rice is ready to use!

For sensory bin play, you can use any coloring both natural or artificial dyes but make sure that the dyed rice is safe for children. The materials used to make dyed rice for sensory bin play are similar to edible rice but we can add rubbing alcohol or vinegar to make sure that the color dyes the rice well. 

The drying time for dyed rice depends on the climate and  the time of year but it will be better if you leave it overnight. 

What Food Can Be Made From Dyed Rice?

Rainbow fried rice is one of the dishes that can be made from dyed rice. 

Rice that has been dyed has its own charm when it is served at your dining table. Some people may like rice with its original color, but dyed rice at your dining table is no less interesting. 

In Asian and Middle East Countries, dyed rice, especially the yellow one, is very common. 

They use the yellow rice for any kind of dishes, such as biryani, kabsa, and mandi rice. And some of the countries named it similar like country name; Lebanese rice, Yemen rice, and etc.

Meanwhile in Asian countries, they have colorful rice for their dishes. In Malaysia, they have Kerabu rice in blue color served with fried chicken, cooked vegetables, and spices. They also have Nasi Minyak (rainbow rice). In addition, in Thailand, you can find Khao Mok Gai rice served with fried chicken and slices of cucumber. 

This dish is similar to Nasi Kuning, a yellow rice based dish from Indonesia. In Japan, they have colorful vegetable sushi with high nutritious value. 

Overall, you can make any kind of dishes using dyed rice. The thing you have to consider is the amount of water used when cooking the rice. Adjust them based on what type of food you are making.

What Kinds of Dyes Can Be Used?

You can use both natural and artificial dyes. 

In coloring food, you have to pay attention whether you will eat your dyed rice or use them as a sensory play. If you are going to eat them, make sure you use edible and safe dyes. 

These two types of dyes that were mentioned above are based on their sources. Natural dyes are obtained from natural ingredients found in nature, whilst artificial dyes are obtained by chemical processes. Usually, artificial dyes have higher concentration than natural dyes. 

It is also important to find out which dyes are safe for consumption according to FDA or USDA standards. And find out what dyes are banned based on their components. You can check which artificial dyes are safe for food approved by the FDA here.

Other FAQs about Rice that you may be interested in.

Can rice go bad in the fridge?

Substitutes for arborio rice

How big is a rice cooker cup?


In this article, we have answered the question “Can You Eat Dyed Rice”, also discussed how to make dyed rice and related topics of the subject.