Banana ketchup is a condiment that is present in many Filipino pantries. The flavor profile of the sauce, sweetish with a hint of spice and just a tad acidic, highly appeals to locals, sometimes even more than its tomato counterpart. This further proves just how much Filipinos love bananas, a key agricultural commodity of the country.

Made out of the beloved yellow fruit, vinegar, sugar, and a handful of seasonings and spices, banana ketchup is commonly paired with fried dishes like lumpiang shanghai, tortang talong, red hotdogs, and french fries. Some even swear by dipping crispy, hot galunggong in it. But banana ketchup can go beyond being just a condiment or sawsawan.

The three recipes below illustrate the versatility of the sauce in the Filipino kitchen:

First, it can be used as a marinade, just like when one is making Filipino-style grilled barbecue. The ketchup can lend its sweetness and spiciness to any type of meat, from pork chops to chicken and even beef ribs.

Banana ketchup can also be used in braising, like when making the classic Filipino adobo. The banana ketchup also gives the dish a nice red tinge.

Lastly, banana ketchup can be used as the main sauce for quick stir-fries. Its texture allows it to coat meats and vegetables in an instant.


Banana Ketchup BBQ Pork Chops

Serves: 4 to 6
Total time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time

  • ½ cup banana ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 500 grams pork chops
  1. Combine banana ketchup, garlic, soy sauce, liquid seasoning, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Add pork chops and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat a griller. Grill pork chops until completely cooked, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.


Red Adobo with Banana Ketchup

Serves: 4
Total time: 45 minutes, plus marinating time

  • 500 grams chicken pieces
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 8 cloves garlic, pounded
  • ¾ cup cane vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup banana ketchup
  • Vegetable oil for pan-frying
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Combine chicken, soy sauce, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine garlic, vinegar, and ground pepper in another bowl. Mix well.
  3. Add vinegar mixture and banana ketchup to the chicken. Mix well. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Once ready, transfer chicken and sauce to a pot over medium-low heat.
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer chicken until tender, about 20 minutes.
  6. Separate chicken pieces from the sauce.
  7. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry chicken pieces just until browned, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  8. Continue simmering sauce until slightly reduced. Add sugar and season to taste. Add chicken pieces and simmer for 3 minutes. Serve hot.


Stir-fried Shrimp in Banana Ketchup

Serves: 4
Total time: 30 minutes

  • ½ cup banana ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (patis)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, chopped
  • 1-inch thumb ginger, sliced into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced into strips
  • 500 grams shrimp, cleaned
  • 200 grams broccoli florets
  1. Combine banana ketchup, soy sauce, liquid seasoning, fish sauce, and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Melt butter. Sauté onion, garlic, and ginger until fragrant.
  3. Add bell pepper and shrimp. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or just until the shrimps start to change color.
  4. Add banana ketchup mixture and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add broccoli florets and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.