Even in my earliest memories as a child, I absolutely hated ketchup (and mayonnaise*), that much loved condiment of lots of people. Oh, how I would hate when some adult would "generously" put a huge squirt of it on my food when serving me.
Then, in Egypt, when learning about fermenting, I came across the idea of lacto-fermenting ketchup. I swore that when I got a garden and grew some tomatoes, I would try it for myself.
And this year I was able to.
I used this recipe (link no longer valid) and absolutely loved it. I used juice from my kimchi and don't think I added the fish sauce, since that is already an ingredient in my kimchi. I also used the same kind of apple cider vinegar and cut back a tad on the Cayenne so that my kidlings would eat it.
I brag about how good it is every time I eat it. I am a ketchup convert...but only to the homemade, fermented kind.
- 48 oz tomato paste
- ½ cup fermented veggie juice
- ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- ¾ tsp ginger
- ¾ tsp all spice
- 1 ½ tsp cayenne powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 3 tsp ground pepper
- 3 tsp garlic granules
- 1 ½ tsp onion granules
- whisk liquids into tomato paste.
- whisk seasonings into tomato paste.
- finish combining ingredients with spatula.
- fill jars leaving 1 1/2 inches of head space.
- cover with lid and ring, leaving loose for air flow.
- leave at room temperature out of direct sun for three days to ferment.
- firmly tighten lid and move to refrigerator for storage.
Emily's notes on the recipe:
The total amount of fermented veggie juice and vinegar can be increased but probably shouldn’t be decreased. You want enough acid to change the ph to encourage beneficial fermentation bacteria. Decreasing the amount of acid can change the pH enough to allow bacteria that could make you very sick to grow. If you don’t have any fermented veggies to collect juice from you can simply replace that with the same amount of raw apple cider vinegar. If you use fermented veggie juice make sure it is raw. If it’s been canned it won’t work since the bacteria will have been killed in the canning process. Unlike the vinegar, the fish sauce is there to gives the ketchup a more savory flavor. The ketchup just wasn’t right until it had that extra little bit of flavor. If you aren’t sure fish sauce is for you, add it last. Taste the ketchup and only add fish sauce if you think the ketchup is missing something. You could also try adding soy sauce, Worcestershire, or some other savory something to give it an extra kick.
This is much thicker than typical commercial ketchup. You may want to add more vinegar to thin it. Taste as you go to make sure it doesn’t lose any of it’s awesomeness by being diluted. Some recipes I looked at said theirs expanded a lot during fermentation. We’ve yet to have that happen but I leave some head space and air exchange just in case. It’s important to note, there wasn’t salt in the tomato paste or seasonings we used. Check your ingredients. If you’re seeing salt don’t add additional until you’ve tasted the ketchup.
* that's because I was only ever given the Miracle Whip, etc. kind, not REAL mayonnaise. Now that I know how to make it myself (so simple), I love it. Rien à voir with the processed stuff.