Umami ketchup

Umami ketchup

4 × 300 ml jars

We all know and love Heinz tomato ketchup. What you might not know is that ketchup was born in Asia under the names kecap and ketjap and began life as a fermented fish sauce. The sauce was transported to Europe by Dutch traders and was then developed into different condiments including mushroom ketchup and, eventually, tomato ketchup. If you’re all about that fifth flavour, though, try this recipe with anchovies, mushrooms and soy – they add a lot of extra power to an already umami-rich tomato blend.


Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
2 x 400 g tins tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato puree
125ml cider vinegar
90g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch chilli flakes
3 anchovies in oil, drained
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons mushroom powder
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onions. Cook over a low heat, for 20 minutes, until softened.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, purée the tinned tomatoes. Add them to the onion and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato purée, vinegar, sugar, salt and chilli, and continue to cook on a low heat for another hour.
  4. Add the anchovies, soy sauce, mushroom powder, oyster and Worcestershire sauces. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool completely. Blitz to make the ketchup as smooth as possible. Taste and season.
  5. Decant into sterilised glass bottles or jars, seal, allow to cool and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. It will be ready to eat immediately once chilled, but the flavours will intensify after a few days – I find it at its best after 4–5 days.
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