mushroom & banana ketchup



Mushroom ketchup is a style of ketchup (also spelled "catsup") that is prepared with mushrooms as its primary ingredient. Originally, ketchup in the United Kingdom was prepared with mushrooms as a primary ingredient, instead of tomatoes. Historical preparations involved packing whole mushrooms into containers with salt. It is used as a condiment and may be used as an ingredient in the preparation of other sauces and other condiments.


Mushroom ketchup is a medieval British recipe. This was the ketchup recipe before refrigeration was invented and tomatoes took over the world. In the Philippines, they invented a banana ketchup during WW2 when tomatoes were scarce.  This is a combination of both recipes.

Mushroom ketchup appears to be similar to my pureed mushroom base in texture and purpose, except that I made mine without any vinegar because I can refrigerate and freeze it. The traditional process pickles the pureed mushrooms, so it will keep considerably longer without refrigeration.

Because long-term preservation was not my main concern, I could afford to give it a more pleasant taste. I didn't really care for the taste of the overly-salty brined mushrooms. I tweaked the recipe until that was no longer the dominant flavor.

The end product is a light-brown, barely pourable mixture that looks like a very thick gravy. It tastes very much 'spicy apple' but you'll never mistake it for apple sauce.

Take note:

This recipe begins with minced vegetables and salt, exactly like sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is left to ferment spontaneously for several weeks, during which natural lactic acid is formed which preserves the cabbage. Not surprisingly, the same process is mentioned for mushrooms in an 1857  "camp ketchup" recipe. Nowadays, it is easier—and safer—to add vinegar for immediate preservation.


This is what you need for 6-8 cups:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. pickling salt
  • 2 ripe bananas
    I used plantains, because I had them available
  • up to 4 cups apple cider,
    preferably a sour variety
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 small onion, peeled, chopped small
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup white cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup medium sherry (or dry sherry)
  • S&P
Pic1: mushroom & banana ketchup


Day 1:

Day 2:


Pic2: mixed mushrooms
Pic3: chop, add salt
Pic4: brined mushrooms


Pic5: drain
Pic6: plantains
Pic7: mushrooms, plantains


Pic8: chopped onions
Pic9: simmering
Pic10: pureed


Pic11: served cold
Pic12: served warm