Unicorn Noodles: A magical science experiment for your classroom

Nicole Toia,

Turn your science lesson into a magical experiment. This Unicorn Noodle recipe is a fun classroom or home activity that mixes science and cooking into one lesson.
  • ½ red cabbage
  • Hot water for cooking
  • 250g rice noodles
  • Juice from one lemon or lime
  1. Chop the red cabbage into small pieces.
  2. Boil the cabbage in water (this will turn the water purple).
  3. Strain the cabbage pieces without discarding the water
  4. Use the purple water to cook the rice noodles.
  5. Once the noodles are tender, drain and discard the water. You will notice the noodles are now purple!
  6. Place them on a plate and squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the noodles. Watch as they change colour.

All the ingrediants  Cut up cabbage Boiling cabbage Purple water Noodles cooking in purple water Drained purple noodles  Different noodle colours Finish product - unicorn noodles

 Why does it happen?

The compounds that make the purple colour in vegetables like beetroot or red cabbage are called anthocyanins. These antioxidants have lots of great health benefits and are water soluble, meaning they are easily dissolved in water. Anthocyanins act as a pH indicator, which is why adding an acid (such as lemon or lime juice) or a base to these compounds changes the colour.

You can find many more fun food activities in our resources section.