Banana ketchup or banana sauce is a popular Philippine condiment made from mashed banana, sugar, vinegar, and spices. Its natural colour is brownish, so it is often dyed red to resemble tomato sauce. Banana ketchup was made when there was a shortage of tomato sauce during World War II, due to lack of tomatoes and a comparatively high production of bananas.
Flavour and Use
Banana ketchup is sweeter than tomato sauce and is similar in taste to the Indonesian Kecap Manis and the Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce. In Filipino households, this ubiquitous condiment is used on just about any dish – omelettes (torta), hot dogs, burgers, fries, fish and other meats. Banana ketchup is also a vital and distinct ingredient in Filipino-style Spaghetti (sweeter than the traditional Italian spaghetti).
It is exported to countries where there is a considerable Filipino population (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Hong Kong, France, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand).
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ⅓ cup chopped sweet onions
- 2 large garlic cloves, quartered
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 4 large very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
- 1⅓ cup cider vinegar, divided use
- 3 - 4 cups water
- ½ cup (packed) brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground chilli pepper, or to taste
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- Place the raisins, onions, garlic, tomato paste, bananas, and ⅔ cup vinegar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until smooth and pour into a large, heavy saucepan.
- To the banana mixture in the saucepan, add remaining ⅔ cup vinegar, 3 cups water, brown sugar, salt, and ground chilli pepper. Stir to combine.
- Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered, stirring the ketchup occasionally, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick and begins to stick, add some of the remaining water (up to 1 cup).
- Add corn syrup, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, for another 15 minutes or until it is thick enough to coat a metal spoon. Stir in the rum and remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Push ketchup through a fine strainer, mashing the solids with the back of a spoon. Let cool to room temperature, pour into glass bottles, cover, and refrigerate. Use within 1 month. Banana ketchup is especially good as a condiment with pork and poultry.