Catsup recipe (mine is fermented)

judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,498 admin
edited November 2020 in Ferments

To say that I am not a fan of store bought catsup/ketchup is an understatement..... not having much of a sweet tooth, I absolutely loathe the stuff! Store bought catsup is basically a little tomato, a whole lot of corn syrup and lots of artificial flavors... often including the neuro toxin, MSG. Catsup (katsiap), originated in Malaysia, with its roots in Chinese soy sauce, and Asian fermented fish sauces. Very likely, it tasted more like Worcestershire Sauce than modern, tomato catsup. Even in the western world, tomatoes came late to the catsup party. My old cookbooks call for making catsup from mushrooms or green walnuts! Those concoctions are excellent sauces for meat, and especially game! But, I grew up on tomato catsup on fries and that is what I still want... but, I want something not very sweet and actually made from real ingredients. The old tomato catsup recipes all call for vinegar, but I prefer the depth of flavor from fermentation. Here is what I have come up with so far:

Half and half tomato paste and crushed tomatoes (approximately).

Plain or sea salt... about a tablespoon for a pint.

2 tablespoons molasses

about 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and/or soy sauce

***all spices to taste***

Black pepper, Cumin, Clove, Garlic powder, Onion Powder, Celery seed.

Option ingredients: Crushed red pepper, allspice, dry mustard, turmeric, ground raisins, Creole seasoning, lemon pepper, etc

Mix in about 1/4th cup plain kombucha. I like to use plain kombucha when possible, because it jump starts the fermentation and allows me to use less salt. I really doesn't stand out as an identifiable flavor, like vinegar does, but it does add a depth to the flavor.

Leave some head space at the top of the jar, because it will really start bubbling within a day or 4. If any kham yeast forms on top, skim it off with a spoon and gently pour enough plain kombucha or whey on top to cover the catsup. Of course, a fermenting jar lid, fermenting weights, etc make it easier,,, but, this is how I did my last batch. It tasted pretty good after 30 days, and improved in the fridge.

Once the catsup is fermented, you can adjust the seasonings to taste. But, if you want a real treat, deep fry a bunch of seafood... shrimp, oysters, fish, clams, scallops, etc... fries, hushpuppies.. all nice and brown. Then, combine about a half cup of your catsup with a tablespoon or so of prepared horseradish, the juice of a lemon and a few dashes of hot sauce..... Best cocktail sauce ever!

If you have a good catsup recipe, please share!


  • soeasytocraft
    soeasytocraft Posts: 237 ✭✭✭

    This is a quick fermented recipe that I use often. From a great book I recommend Traditionally Fermented Foods book by Shannon Stonger.

    Fermented Ketchup

    Two methods, one fast one slow

    Cultured Ketchup

    6 oz (170 gm) tomate paste

    4 tbsp whey, Kombucha or water kefir (divided)

    ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar 

    ⅛ tsp ground cayenne ( I used a tiny shake)

    ⅛ tsp paprika

    ⅛ tsp cinnamon 

    ⅛ tsp ground cloves

    ¾ tsp salt

    5 tbsp (75 ml) raw honey

    ¼ cup water or more to reach desired consistency 

    Combine in a pint jar - 2 tbsp whey and all other ingredients and whisk until blended

    Add remaining 2 tbsp whey over the top. Put lid on the jar and let sit for 3 - 10 day’s until tangy and fermented to taste.

    Consume within 2 weeks or refrigerate for up to a month

    Quick Cultured Ketchup

    ingredients are the same except the whey (fermenting liquid) is increased to ½ cup.

    Adjust the salt and vinegar to taste if need.

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you all for sharing the recipes. I made my first batch of catsup/ketchup the year before last. It used vinegar, cloves, and some other spices (I don't recall everything). It was in a book about growing great tomatoes. I do not recall it's name now.

    I am hoping to have lots of homegrown tomatoes this year, if I do, I plan to make a batch and will probably ferment it. And like you @judsoncarroll4 I am not a fan of the store bought ketchup either.

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    I will have to try some of these recipes, I have never been a big ketchup fan, but these might change my mind.