Cooking Technique: Homemade Ketchup!

Tue, Apr 27, 2010

Cooking, Recipes, Techniques

In continuing with the tomato theme, it just seemed right to have a technique today that had to do with tomatoes. Ketchup (catsup) is one of the most used condiments in the United States and also one of the most used forms of tomatoes. If you don’t know the word ketchup you may have heard this sauce referred to as tomato sauce, red sauce, Tommy sauce, Tommy K, or “dead horse” (Australian slang).

A little history lesson in Ketchup shows that the word comes from the Chinese word ke-tsiap, a pickled fish sauce. When it moved to Malaysia it became known as kechap and ketjap in Indonesia. This was more of a soy sauce than what we know today as the tomato based ketchup.

Since in quite a few cases it may be difficult to get people to eat tomatoes, most of those who don’t like them wind up having a thing for ketchup. The technique today is to help you make your own tomato ketchup that has less sodium, less sugar, and can use up all those extra tomatoes from the garden!

Serves 24
Time required 120 minutes
Difficulty level 4
Cost of ingredients 6 USD

  • 3 pounds (1.5kg) ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 stalks celery
  • ¼ cup (60ml) Vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon (2ml) red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoons (5ml) salt
  • 1/3cups (75ml) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf

In a pot of boiling water add in your whole tomatoes and let boil for one minute, take out and place in an large bowl of water and ice. You can then slide the skins off the tomatoes before cooking them.

Slice the tomatoes into quarters and  remove the seeds by squeezing the tomatoes. This also will remove excess water. Drain the tomatoes with a  strainer and place a bowl below it. This will allow you to save the tomato juice in case you want to use it for something else, like a drink or flavoring when cooking!

Peel and chop the onions, celery and garlic and place in a large pot with the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and allow to cook 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

Pour the tomatoes, garlic, celery and onions into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain by pouring through a strainer and back into the pot. This should get out any extra chunks. If you do not have a blender you can use a pestle and mortar to crush the cooked food or cook it long enough that it’s soft enough to pass through a strainer by using the back of a spoon.

Add in salt, chili powder,  Worcestershire sauce,  sugar and vinegar. Stir thoroughly.  Place peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf in a cheesecloth and tie it up to make a pouch. Place the pouch in the sauce, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 1 hour or until the sauce has reduced by about half.

Remove from the heat and remove the spice bag. Using a ladle, pour it into a sealable container. If you want to can the ketchup for later use please remember to use sterilized jars and to follow the proper procedure. This ketchup will last about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Here is a version of ketchup made with canned tomatoes and cooked in a pressure cooker then cooked in the oven.

Photo by HAMACHI!
Video by ideasinfood

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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2 Responses to “Cooking Technique: Homemade Ketchup!”

  1. Bonnie Says:

    I read and enjoyed all of your tomatoe posts. Great information.

  2. Belinda @zomppa Says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve always wondered how difficult it would be to make your own.

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