Dying eggs with onion skins is a popular way to dye eggs in Russia, former Soviet states and Orthodox countries. The color is meant to come out red, which symbolizes the blood of Christ, and the hard shell symbolizes the tomb. When I make Russian Easter Eggs with onion skins, the colors usually range from dark orange, to brown to a red brown. They are similar to Greek Eggs.
It’s a great chemical free way to celebrate Easter. The other way we naturally dye eggs is using red cabbage. The eggs turn out an amazing blue color, check out the recipe here. With all natural dyes, the longer the eggs sit in the natural dye, the deeper and darker the colors will be, regardless if you use white or brown eggs.
Traditionally we take these dyed Russian Easter Eggs with onion skins and take turns trying to crack each others eggs. One person holds the egg and the other taps the top of their egg, hoping not to break their own, but their opponents. The winner is the person who successfully cracks their opponents egg. The cracked egg symbolizes Christ’s resurrection from the tomb.
I usually just eat the eggs with salt, but with so many eggs, I also make Olivye – Russian Potato Salad and Shuba Herring Salad, or Mimosa Salad; staples at a Russian celebration table. Remember to keep the dyed eggs refrigerated until serving.
As we celebrate Easter, we greet each other with Христос воскрес (Christ is Risen) to which we reply Воистину воскрес (He is Truly Risen). It’s easy dying eggs with onion skins! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Dying Eggs with Onion Skins + Video - Naturally Dyed Eggs
- onion peels from 10-12 onions
- water to cover the onion peels and eggs
- 1 dozen uncooked eggs at room temperature
Place the onion peels and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil for about 20 minutes.
Allow to cool to around room temperature. Place the eggs inside the saucepan with the onion peels. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes. If you are unsatisfied wiht the color, allow the eggs to cool in the onion mixture for a deeper color. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to dry.
Optional: Gently rub the eggs with a bit of cooking oil for a nice shine.
If you are in a hurry, you can place all the ingredients in a saucepan together, allow to boil for about 20 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. The color will be more rusty brown than red. If you place cold eggs into the boiling hot water, they will crack. If you place eggs in warm to hot water (warming them up) before placing them in the hot onion water, you will reduce the likelihood of cracked eggs.