Susan's Blog

Fermented Ketchup

Okay, so this isn’t exactly like the “real deal” ketchup, but it is guilt-free!  This ketchup is actually GOOD FOR YOU!  I normally do not consume ketchup, even the organic brands, but I do eat this!

“Ketchup provides us with an excellent example of a condiment that was formerly fermented and therefore health promoting, but whole benefits were lost with large scale canning methiods and a reliance on sugar rather than lactic acid as a preservative.  The work ketchup derives from the Chinese Amay dialect ke-tsiap or pickled fish-brine or sauce, the universal condiment of the ancient world.  The English added things like mushrooms, walnuts, cucumbers, and oysters to this fermented brew; Amereicans added tomatoes from Mexico to make tomato ketchup…A return to ancient preservation methods would transform America’s favorite condiment from a health liability to a beneficial digestive aid.”  Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon

Fermented Ketchup

Makes 1 quart


  • 3 cups canned tomato paste, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup whey (see instructions to make below)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce (available in most grocery stores)


  1.  Mix all ingredients well.
  2. Place in quart-sized wide-mouth mason jars.
  3. Cover with lid loosely.
  4. Leave at room temperature for about 2 days.
  5. Transfer to refrigerator.

The ketchup will develop little bubbles while fermenting, and will not smell bad.  There should be no trace of mold.

To Make Whey:

  1.  Line a colander with clean cheesecloth or thin dish towel, overlapping the sides a bit.
  2. Dump a quart of unflavored, unsweetened yogurt containing active cultures into the cheesecloth.
  3. If you like, stir 1/4 teaspoon of probiotic powder into the yogurt for even greater probiotic potential.
  4. Gather the cloth together and tie with a long string.
  5. Hang the bag of yogurt so it can drip into a clean bowl and let drip for about 24 hours.
  6. The liquid in the bowl is whey and ready to use in your recipe.  Extra whey can be stored in a covered glass jar in the fridge for 3-6 months.
  7. The solid yogurt in the cloth is like Greek yogurt or cream cheese, and can be enjoyed as is or in recipes.

(Recipes from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon)

Ready to jumpstart your health?

Let's connect!