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Bento Recipe: Blue food


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Why blue food? Why not blue food? It's often as simple as adding food coloring at the right time.

Boiled robin's eggs - Boil and peel an egg. Put a drop or two of blue food coloring in a cup of water, stir it, then set the egg in it. The water should cover the egg. Let it soak, checking every 10 minutes to see if the color has deepened to the shade you want. I find pale blue most appealing, myself.

Blue cornbread - Just take a regular cornbread recipe - like country cornbread - and use blue cornmeal in place of the regular stuff. I got mine at my local farmer's market; if you can't find it where you shop, some Amazon sellers have it.

Blue dorayaki - Made just like regular dorayaki, except you add blue food coloring to the batter, and fry the cakes on low heat so the browning doesn't obscure the blue too much. There will be some browning, but it should be light enough tan that the blue shines through, especially on the bubbly side. The frying surface should be hot enough that water sizzles on it but not hot enough to make it skitter around, and turn the cakes as soon as they look done.

Blue noodles are the natural habitat of baby octopi.Blue noodles - homemade noodles, that is. I haven't tried food-coloring premade noodles. So, make some noodles from scratch - I like to make homemade udon noodles, which are not hard at all to make - but, before you mix anything up, add food coloring to the water. Be liberal with it, especially if the noodles will be going into something that may hide their color, for example a dark soup or yakiudon. I add a drop of red to offset the tendency to shade toward green.

Blue okonomiyaki - Okonomiyaki plus blue food coloring! It looks even cooler if you make it with red cabbage, as it turns purple when it cooks.

You are getting sleeeeepy...Blue omurice - Make the omurice filling as usual, and when you mix up the eggs for the wrapper, add a few drops of blue food coloring. The blue egg, white rice, and red ketchup makes this a patriotic-looking dish - well, if you're American or French, anyway.

Blue onigiri - Make some blue rice - see below - then shape it with your hands or a mold to make onigiri. Simple yet startling!

What flavor is your squishie? Blue.Blue rice - Make rice as you normally would, except before you add the water drop some food coloring in. I've made vivid blue sushi that tasted great and weirded out everyone who saw it. I used six drops of food coloring to 1.5 cups of water. Use less or more depending on how deep you want the color to be.
Peacock eggsBlue rainbow rolled omelet - This is a rainbow rolled omelet that, guess what, happens to be blue. The shading effect is very easy to do. Every time you pour a layer of omelet, add a little more food coloring to the remaining egg. For the omelet pictured here I added several drops of blue and one of red (to counterbalance the yellow of the yolk) for the last two layers.

Blue squid - My first attempt at blue meat! Take a defrosted squid tube - which should, in the manner of seafood, come sloshing around in its own juice - and place it in a Ziploc bag, juice and all. Add in a few drops of blue food coloring.  Shake and squish the bag around to mix the coloring evenly with the juice, then let it sit in the fridge. After a day the food coloring will have soaked in, the squid will be Windex blue, and you can cook it any way you like. Note: the color will be more vivid on the outside.

Blue takoyaki - Just like takoyaki, except - you guessed it! - add some blue food coloring to the batter. I use three drops per cup of flour. This is an especially funky blue food, as even without the coloring octopus dumplings are pretty funky. Well, in the US they are. In Japan they're fairly ordinary. But I bet blue takoyaki would still be funky!

Blue bread - This is made just like the rice, in that you simply mix blue food coloring into the water at the beginning. I add it in before proofing the yeast, which means the yeast slurry looks especially gross. The crust of the bread is pretty weird looking too - a strange combination of blue and tan - but the bread inside is, IMO, pretty in a Kool-Aid kind of way. When making the French bread pictured here I used about 10 drops of blue food coloring in 1.8 cups of water, plus a drop of red to counterbalance the slight yellowish tint caused by the brand of flour I use.

Rice snaxBlueberry mochi - This is coconut mochi, with added blueberries. Oh, and food coloring, of course. Well, you don't need the food coloring, technically speaking, but this is the blue food page.

The white stuff, by the way, is katakuriko (potato starch) which keeps the mochi from sticking together. Mochi is sticky.