Updated: Compound Tomato Sauce (lacto-fermented ketchup)

Adapted from recipes from Abby Fisher (1881) and Sally Fallon (2001), this healthy condiment keeps its Old South flavors..


1 1/2 cups tomato paste
1/2 cup (more or less) filtered water
1/4 cup whey
2 teaspoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon molasses
1/8 cup fermented fish sauce OR 1-2 anchovies, mashed OR 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Grind dry ingredients together in a spice grinder or mash in a mortar (if using fish sauce, be sure to taste before also using sea salt).  Add to the rest of the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and stir well to combine.

Add filtered water to achieve the consistency that you prefer.  It will thicken as it stands, so you might want to leave this a little on the thin side.

Transfer ketchup to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and allow to sit at room temperature for 72 hours before transferring to refrigerator for long-term storage.

(Here’s an earlier version of this recipe)

This post is part of Food Renegade’s  Fight Back Fridays

29 thoughts on “Updated: Compound Tomato Sauce (lacto-fermented ketchup)

    1. Thanks, Kelly!

      I used to buy the expensive organic stuff too, but much of what’s out there still has sugar and/or comes in a plastic bottle and/or just tastes weird. Making your own is easy and inexpensive and you’re in control of what goes into it.

  1. I think I may actually like this ketchup recipe. One thing I’ve discovered in the world of homemade ketchup: everyone likes something different. So many recipes are far too spicy or sweet for my tastes. This looks like it may just be perfect!

    Thanks for sharing this in today’s Fight Back Fridays carnival. I stumbled it!

    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  2. This looks great. I go through a lot of ketsup in the winter when I make meatloaf with the ketsup sauce on top. I can’t wait to get my tomatoes put up so I can start doing stuff like this with them! Really I can’t wait to have time in the fall once the big summer harvest and canning rush is over to play again….

    1. I put in a dozen tomato plants this year, and have nothing to show for it. July was the hottest month ever recorded here /and/ we’re in the middle of a D4 Exceptional drought. Bother..

  3. You can take solace in the fact that this is an anomoly for you and you can grow tomatoes in the spring there – this is a once in a gardening lifetime thing for me in Seattle to have a bumper crop of tomatoes! I’m just glad this was the year I started the 30 plants thinking that I might actually get enough tomatoes to feed my family for a few months – not knowing it would probably feed us all year for a change!

  4. Thank you so much for posting a ketchup recipe with an anchovy option. I was thinking about experimenting and doing it since I love anchovies and am a little scared to try fish sauce (for no particular reason), so thank you for taking the guesswork out of my experiment! Can’t wait to try it.

  5. I’m gonna’ try this out as my husband truly loves ketchup, but I have banned it :). I have been looking for a decent lacto-fermented ketchup recipe for quite some time and this one looks like it might work for me, but with a few tweaks.

  6. I tried a similar recipe awhile ago from Nourishing Traditions & while the flavor was good the texture was an issue. No matter what I did it seemed to have a very coarse texture & family turned their noses up. I pureed it to a smooth consistency & I even diluted it with a bunch of organic ketchup but after sitting it inevitably developed the thick/coarse texture that didn’t fly. ???

  7. Not sure where the coarseness is coming from, but the ketchup definitely thickens over time. Perhaps double (or even triple) the water, let stand 7-10 days and adjust the seasoning..?

    1. Could it have been that simple? This was one of my earliest attempts at fermenting when it all seemed overwhelming & frustrating. I think I will definitely try again now that I have a little more experience.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s