Monday, January 25, 2016

How to Make All Natural And Organic Red Food Coloring

Last summer, my family visited Hong Kong and China for a vacation.  During our stay, my Kids fell in love with Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou or 饅頭 in Chinese.)   These steamed buns are soft and slightly sweet.  They are a wonderful side dish to enjoy with a meal (kind of like the idea of dinner rolls in the American cuisine).

It was also during our visit to Asia, we had a chance to visit the Hello Kitty Dim Sum restaurant (click here to read more).   That visit gave me an idea to turn the ordinary plain white steamed buns into something more adorable!  And these Piggy Chinese Steamed Buns were born.  These Piggies are special!  And I'm about to share with you a secret ingredient that I used to tint their ears, snouts and cheeks.  The ingredient is organic beet roots!  

Please check out my video tutorial above on how to make this wonderful red food coloring.  The color came out so beautiful and vibrant.  Best of all, the flavor is light and neutral so it won’t affect the taste of the food that you’re coloring with.  Plus, a little goes a long way!  You can use this natural food coloring to tint your pastry, bread dough, noodle, icing, cookies, and etc.  Anything that calls for liquid food coloring, basically.   I hope you enjoy today’s recipe and tutorial.  Stay tuned on the recipe in a few days on how to make these Piggy Chinese Steamed Buns!

All Natural and Organic Red Food Coloring:
Makes: 2 tablespoons

3 organic beet roots
1 cup water

Peel, cut and discard the roots and stems.  Cut the beet into bite size pieces and place in a small saucepan.  Add water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to low heat, uncover and let beets simmer for 30 minutes.  Check on the cooking process every 10 minutes to make sure water is not completely dried out.  You should get about 2 tablespoons of liquid remaining after cooking.  Strain out the liquid and let cool before use. 

Amy’s Note:  Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the cooked beets and they make a wonderful and healthy snack!


  1. I too like to use beet to colour the food. Thanks for sharing, Amy. Those bun are very cute.

  2. Such cute buns. Natural colourings from vegetable is the best!