If you’re into ketchup or tinkering with homemade condiments, try this umami-laden ketchup. I came up with the recipe several years ago and my husband reminded me about it last week, when we were eating the Filipino spicy banana ketchup. “Ketchup originated in Asia so what’s the big deal about making it from bananas? You made that one with fish sauce,” he said.
Oh, right. Western ketchup borrows its name from the Amoy Chinese (Hokkien/Fujian) term ketsiap, which means fermented fish sauce and is related to the Malay term kechap (now written as kecap, i.e., delectable kecap manis sweet soy sauce). The word and sauce was transported to Europe by Dutch traders, and over time, the original Asian condiment became transformed into many kinds of ketchup. I’ve read about mushroom and walnut-based ketchups but it’s the tomato version that reigns supreme on our modern tables.