A popular and delicious condiment from the Philippines. It’s sweet, tangy, sometimes spicy and it’s similar to tomato ketchup.
What is Banana Ketchup
When I was a kid growing up in the Philippines, my two favourite things to eat were bbq hotdog and banana ketchup with rice. My mama said I was really fussy and I would only eat it if it’s hotdog and ketchup with rice.
Many people outside of the Philippines don’t know about this condiment. In the Philippines it is widely used for all sorts of cooking and as a condiment. Banana ketchup’s story began with Maria Orosa (1893–1945) who was a food chemist and a war hero with a goal to reduce the Philippines’ reliance on imported goods, like tomatoes. She was instrumental in the development of food preservation techniques such as canning, dehydrating, fermenting, and freezing. “She made flour from cassava, green bananas, and coconuts; fermented wine using native fruits and nuts; coaxed vinegar from pineapples; and transformed seaweed into agar.
Maria invented the banana ketchup using a red colouring dye to mimik tomato ketchup. Due to a tomato shortage in the islands brought on by the onset of WWII, Orosa created Banana Ketchup in 1942. Looking for a cheap and stable alternative, bananas topped the list because the supplies were plenty, according to Subli.
Let’s talk ingredients
Banana – I used plantain for this recipe, if you can get hold of Saba that would be good to use too. You can use Cavendish banana (it’s the yellow long banana that you get from UK grocery shops) but this banana is wetter than the other kinds I mentioned above. You can use it but the consistency will be different.
Red colouring – I didn’t use any red colouring for this recipe but you are more than welcome to add it to your banana ketchup.
Chilli – you can add more chillies if you want your banana ketchup more spicy. In this recipe you get a little tingle of heat but it’s not hot.
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In a food processor add all the aromatics, onions, garlic, ginger, chillies and oil to help it break down. Blitz them until they become a paste consistency. Pour it into a bowl, put it aside for later.
In the same food processor (don’t wash the container) add bananas and water. Blitz the banana until it also has a paste consistency. Pout it into a bowl and put it aside for later.
Using a small pot, pour the aromatics paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the banana mixture into the aromatics and mix them together. Add the seasoning, salt, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and black pepper. Mix them all together until combined. Simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, mixing it occasionally.
Turn the heat off and pour the Banana Ketchup into a bottle and leave it on the side to cool down before using it. Keep it in the fridge to keep longer.