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Most Filipino dishes are known to be on the sweeter side, even when they are more traditionally known to be savory in nature. A prime example of this is the Filipino style spaghetti. This usually plays with sugary flavors to appeal to local taste, and makes for a top-notch sweet-savory combination. And just like this tomato-based dish, one of the most famous ketchup variants in the Philippines has a sweet little twist. This comes in the form of the ever-popular, delicious Banana ketchup.
This delightfully innovative condiment is a pleasant intermingling of various flavors. This includes the rich, tangy taste of ketchup with the sweetness of the banana. Made mainly of sugar, vinegar, mashed bananas, and varying spices, this renowned sauce is a powerful addition to various dishes. People popularly integrate it with fried chicken, burgers, fried rice and noodles.
Another plus to this condiment is that it is actually cheaper to produce. Because of the abundance of banana produce in the Philippines, its main ingredient can be easily acquired. But banana ketchup is a prime example of a food whose quality and taste is not sacrificed in the name of cutting costs. Most fans of this sauce admire it for its unapologetic sweetness, and gracefully-integrated spice and tang.
With a consistency almost entirely like tomato ketchup, its main difference to the latter is the level of sweetness. Banana ketchup, because of the wide usage of bananas, tastes sweeter and is less tangy. When it comes together with some of your favorite savory dishes, the result is a perfect marriage of flavors.
Considering just how prominent tomato ketchup already is as a supplement to most Filipino dishes, you might be wondering one thing. Who thought of making bananas with ketchup?
How did banana ketchup come to be?
The integration of bananas with the condiment might come as no surprise. Considering how widely produced this bright, distinctively tasty fruit is in the Philippines, its plays a part in many dishes. Because of this, banana sauce has actually been a staple condiment in the country. And this was long before the arrival of the widely celebrated banana ketchup.
But what truly brought banana ketchup to the scene is the passion of a food chemist to innovate a largely used condiment. And this came with their goal of making it more accessible and sustainable for Filipinos. But interestingly enough, the inventor is also famously a war heroine.
Who is Maria Ylagan Orosa?
During World War II, Maria Orosa who had vast educational expertise in food chemistry formulated Soyalac and Darak. Soyalac is a powdered soybean product, while Darak is a rice-byproduct. And both are full of nutrients. These were needed to help freedom fighters and prisoners of war during a time of starvation in internment camps.
But she is also greatly known for the well-loved and popular banana ketchup. Orosa is credited for formulating this upon noticing how much Filipinos started to depend on American imports such as ketchup. With this, banana sauce made of vinegars and other seasonings, alongside of course, mashed bananas, was born. She also incorporated red dye to provide the same appealing color that tomato ketchup has.
The production of banana ketchup was rooted from a goal to make the country a bit more self-sustaining. She also wanted to give Filipinos a chance to more easily have the ketchup condiment, as most tomatoes were imports. And today, banana ketchup fills up grocery shelves, and Filipinos can enjoy it with a wide array of dishes.
Has the story of this distinctively delicious condiment piqued your curiosity to make you crave for some of your own? If so, we’ve got the solution for you! You can find this in your regular supermarket in the Philippines or Asian market. But have you ever wanted to try it homemade?
Here are some recipes that you might want to try with banana ketchup:
This savory classic dish is a fan favorite among Filipinos. And this is especially so for those who simply want to make the most of a few simple ingredients. And in this case, the main ingredient is talong or eggplant. Essentially a stylized and fried version of the colorful vegetable, Tortang Talong is a deliciously savory and flexible viand. And it tastes just perfect with some warm rice. And of course, it makes a fantastic duo with our banana ketchup. The tender and salty Tortang Talong blends blissfully with the subtle sourness and outright sweet flavors of banana ketchup. With such sensational flavors coming together, one might not be able to guess that cooking this takes about 27 minutes. That, and essentially it only has four ingredients, excluding the optional, but highly recommended banana ketchup.
Intermingled with mild but savory flavors of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, this meal is already a crowd pleaser without additional condiments. Pinoy Style Fried Chicken, in its simplicity, remains well-loved by many. This is partially because of how it doesn’t stray too far from the classic fried chicken recipe. However, the unique crisp and seasonings utilized make it irresistible to have it for every occasion. It is enjoyable to have for lunch on your own or a family gathering. But just like the Tortang Talong, its taste can only be further enhanced. This can be done through he complex, sweet taste of a couple dollops of banana ketchup. Give this savory, affordable classic Filipino dish a try!
This recipe, unlike the previous dishes, automatically integrates the luscious flavor of our fruit-based condiment in its sauce and seasoning. The Sauteed Onion and Hotdog with Ketchup makes use of an abundance of onions and banana ketchup. It also utilizes some spices to elevate the meaty taste of the hotdog. With this, you can expect a surge of sweet and tangy flavors to come into play in each hefty bite. This recipe is also very flexible, just as well as quick and easy to make! This takes only around 15 minutes to cook. And if you’re feeling experimental in your cuisine, you can try to add other ingredients for additional flavors. I can suggest some green onions and sliced long chillies for a bit of a kick and more aesthetic appeal.
If a grill is anywhere in sight during a family vacation in the Philippines, you can probably expect a couple of sticks of Pork Barbecue being cooked for the group. And because of its popularity, you might be able to find a rendition of this in every street corner in the Philippines. A rich, versatile and flavorful recipe like Pork Barbecue is evidently a widely celebrated one. And this is because of its masterful usage of various ingredients to soak flavor into the pork. And like the previous dish, it utilizes banana ketchup to coat the meat. But this time, we use it for marinade alongside calamansi, soy sauce, garlic and sugar. This makes for a delightful and salty-sweet viand that can be eaten with a cup of steamed rice. But you can also enjoy it on its own as an afternoon snack.
Marinated in a pool of lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, ground black pepper and of course, banana ketchup, this Chicken Barbecue recipe is one filled with tremendous flavor. Chicken has a significantly milder taste compared to red meat. But this dish makes effective use of these various seasonings for a one of a kind, mouthwatering flavor in chicken. And banana ketchup can be greatly complementary alongside most dry chicken dishes. And so this can also be an amazing condiment for Chicken Barbecue. If you’re looking for a change in protein for your barbecue, this recipe might be the best concept to try out in your own kitchen.
How to make banana ketchup:
For this, you will need to boilsaging na saba or saba bananas. These are thicker and starchier than your regular banana. After this, you can combine these with our ingredients for the condiment’s flavor– onions, red bell peppers and garlic.
Then integrate all the spices and seasonings with these in a mixing bowl. For this, you will use cinnamon powder, paprika, iodized salt, brown sugar and white vinegar. Then you can cook these until e the mixture has thickened to a ketchup consistency. Add choco brown and red ketchup coloring to truly capture the appearance of banna ketchup. Stir this until the color has spread evently, then let it cool. After this, you can bottle it up for your own use!
Trying to have this in your own home, however, isn’t just a treat for your taste buds. Of course, it is a brilliant addition to your usual meals like spaghetti, or even snacks like fries. But one of the merits of this uniquely Filipino condiment is its fair share of health benefits. And most of it can be attributed to the hero ingredient– sweet and lovingly grown bananas!
What are the health benefits of eating banana ketchup?
Why pass on bananas, prominently known for being the happy fruit? These are well-known mood boosters, as they are high in tryptophan. These are amino acids that can help heighten your serotonin levels. Tryptophan produces serotonin alongside melatonin, and these can assist in the regulation of one’s sleep cycle.
Potassium is also abundant in bananas, which aid in protecting the body from heart attacks and stroke. They also have low salt content, and this is beneficial in keeping your blood pressure low. Tannin, which the soft and healthy fruit is rich in, can also help your body take in water. With this, it can lower your body temperature naturally.
Convinced of trying your hand at some meals that would be perfect with this sweet, healthy ketchup variant?
What else do you think would be great with banana ketchup? Let us know in the comments!
- 2 lbs saging na saba bananas, cleaned
- 17 pieces birds eye chili crushed and minced
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 lbs brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon coloring – choco brown
- 0.18 ounces sodium benzoate
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon coloring – ketchup red
- 1 head onion chopped
- 1 piece red bell pepper
- 3 tablespoons garlic minced
- 100 ounces water
- 3.6 ounces iodized salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves crushed
- Put water in a large pot and let boil.
- Put in the bananas and boil for 12 minutes. Remove from the pot and let cool.
- When the bananas have cooled, peel them and divide each into 3 pieces by slicing.
- Combine bananas, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Place in a blender with 2 cups of water and blend for seconds. Note: this can be done by batch.
- Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add chili, all the spices, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Mix well.
- Place the mixture in a large pot and cook for 60 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
- Put-in the food coloring and sod benzoate. Stir until well blended.
- Let the mixture cool and transfer to jars or containers.