Homemade Lacto-Fermented Ketchup
Homemade lacto-fermented ketchup is one of the easiest things to make!
If you can taste and stir, you can make this.
I’ve always had a lackluster relationship with ketchup. I liked it, sometimes, but it was always so sweet and one dimensional that I could never really get excited about it. One day we were at a restaurant and they had a bottle of Portland Ketchup Company Ketchup. I wasn’t expecting anything from that bottle. I looked at it only to notice the conventional red goo inside and shake some on my fries. When I tasted it though, I had to check the bottle to make sure that I was even eating ketchup.
It had a rich tomato flavor that reminded me of dehydrated tomatoes (you see them sold under the fancy “sun dried tomato” name), it wasn’t rampantly sweet and it was all kinds of spicy, savory deliciousness.
It took me a long time and many homemade ketchup recipes on pinterest before I started making my own. I couldn’t find a recipe that had the right spiciness and savory notes so I created this based on the flavor of the Portland ketchup. Trust me, you won’t miss that store bought ketchup when you’re eating your homemade lacto-fermented ketchup with your homemade tator-tots or fried potatoes. This is a thick, barely sweet ketchup with a rich savory spicy -but not hot- thing going on.
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 ground 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
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 to grow that could make you very sick.
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 killing 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.
As for the actual making it part?
Whisk or blend ingredients together, taste to make sure you like it, adjust the seasoning if not. Portion into jars with an inch and a half of head space and leave it in a room temperature place, out of direct sun for three days. Refrigerate and enjoy the most delicious ketchup ever!