If you’ve never tasted banana ketchup, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this recipe. Banana ketchup is an easy Filipino fruit sauce condiment made with bananas, sugar, ginger, turmeric, allspice, jalapeño, and rum.
The condiment came to be after there was a shortage of tomato ketchup during World War II, and something had to be done about the overabundance of bananas in the Philippines.
Once mashed bananas were combined with vinegar, sugar, and spices, a delicious sweet and tangy sauce was born which is reminiscent of tomato ketchup. Unlike tomato ketchup, however, the sauce is brownish-yellow, so sometimes it's dyed to resemble a classic red sauce. Once you’ll try this delicious condiment, you’ll want it on everything!
Banana ketchup is a popular condiment in the Philippines which is similar to tomato ketchup. While the sauce is sweet and tangy, the main ingredient is not tomatoes, but bananas! It’s said that the sauce was invented by Maria Orosa. With a shortage of tomatoes (and tomato ketchup), Orosa wanted to make something similar, while using an ingredient that’s abundant locally—bananas. Mashed bananas were combined with vinegar, sugar, and spices, and red dye was added to make it look like tomato ketchup, hence the name.
Towards the end of World War II, banana ketchup was being mass-produced, and the popularity of the condiment grew in such a way that it soon became a favorite among locals and American soldiers alike.
Banana ketchup is similar to tomato ketchup in that both are made with vinegar, sugar, and spices, making them both sweet and tangy. Banana ketchup is slightly fruitier, which makes it ideal for use in sweet and savory dishes.
You can still make the banana ketchup if you don’t have a blender or food processor, the ketchup will just be slightly chunkier.
You can also use a hand blender and blend the mixture directly in the saucepan.
Store the banana ketchup in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until it becomes translucent.
Add the garlic, jalapeno, ginger, turmeric, and allspice and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the mashed bananas, vinegar, sugar, rum (if using), tomato paste, and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the saucepan from heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor (or blender) and process until smooth.
If the mixture is too thick, you can thin it out with a bit of water. Season to taste.
Transfer the mixture to a sterilized jar and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.