Heard About Banana Ketchup? Learn How To Use It!
Image Credit: Freshly made banana ketchup, Gcl.dunster.nl

or those who have grown tired of traditional tomato ketchup, there are other sauces out there worth trying. Banana ketchup is what it is. What, you haven't heard about it? We wonder if many people are aware of it. Restaurants serving banana ketchup are a rarity in many parts of the world. The Philippines are the undisputed champions of this fruit-based sauce. Even though it is commonly referred to as "ketchup," banana ketchup typically does not include any tomato. So, what does it contain, exactly? How can it be savoured? What would be a good meal to complement it? If you have questions like these or others, we have the answers. Let's catch up on banana ketchup and know how to use it.

What is banana ketchup, and how is it made?

Banana ketchup, or catsup as it's known in the Philippines, is a staple condiment in the country. Banana ketchup does not contain tomatoes, as stated in the ingredients list. Bananas, sugar, spices, and vinegar combine to make a mildly sweet sauce.

How does banana ketchup taste?

It's not hard to imagine switching to banana ketchup from the traditional tomato variety. Though similar to conventional ketchup in taste, banana ketchup has a sweeter undertone thanks to the fruit's inherent sweetness. The vinegar and spices give this rendition a flavour reminiscent of the original dish. The addition of tropical fruits makes it taste juicier and more succulent. There is no significant variance in flavour between the brown banana ketchup and the red kind; the latter simply has red food colouring added to give it its signature tint.

How to use banana ketchup

It's common practice in the Philippines to use this ubiquitous catsup over a wide range of foods. It can be employed as a spread on bread slices, marinades for many savoury culinary fares, dressings and seasonings for salads etc. Use Banana ketchup as a dip for fish sticks, chicken nuggets, or French fries, drizzle it over meatloaf, or eat it on top of an open sandwich or hot dog. Replace regular ketchup for soups and stews with this one. Banana ketchup isn't just for dipping; it goes well with eggs and rice and as a fruity complement to meats, veggies, and other dishes.

Banana ketchup as spread on bread, Image Source: gcl.dunster.nl

Use banana ketchup, as people in the Philippines do

This condiment is commonly served with the Filipino breakfast, or lunch staple tortang talong, which consists of an eggplant slice dipped in an egg. You can try making Filipino spaghetti. It is a pasta meal cooked with a lot of banana ketchup that is heated, mixed with hot dog pieces, and then tossed with noodles.


Banana ketchup doesn't lend itself to many tweaks to the basic formula. Yet, there are variants available with varying degrees of spiciness and sourness. Garlic, ripe bananas, brown sugar, and white vinegar make up the foundational components of the traditional Filipino recipe. There are plain and fiery variations too.   If you want to spice things up, the Caribbean style is where it's at. Its preparation typically requires extra steps and ingredients, such as curry powder, coconut oil, and even rum.

Banana ketchup basic ingredients, Image Source: filipinofoodmovementaustralia.org

Advice on storage

It is advisable to store banana ketchup in the fridge. Once you break the seal, refrigerate the bottle for optimal freshness. The shelf life of banana ketchup largely depends on the use of preservatives and how you handle it. Depending on the amount of vinegar used, homemade banana ketchup can be stored in the refrigerator for months.