Tomato Jam with Fermented Hot Sauce


This is the perfect storm of condiments. Reminiscent of a vampire: it’s complex, dark, rich and moody. I’m sure someone out there rolled their eyes at ‘tomato jam’, but it’d be contemptuous to call this ketchup. And that’s coming from someone so intrinsically bonded with ketchup it must be whatever that red stuff is running through my veins. I’d accept catsup, though.


Ketchup today is synonymous with high fructose corn syrup and vinegar; nothing about it really resembles tomatoes, does it? Mine may look outlandish if you’ve never made a homemade version before, but when you try it you’ll think “yep, that’s ketchup”. And want more.



It’s pretty hard to grind 1/8 tsp of mustard, or cloves, so I recommend making a large batch of all the dry spices and storing it in a dark place. Next time you want to make ketchup, just add 1.5 tbsp of the spice mixture per can of tomatoes (along with the other wet ingredients) This is a great recipe for the end of summer when you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with (my favorite problem)

Tomatoes are naturally rich in glutamate (MSG, an amino acid), along with the fermented sauces, making this condiment a delicious, savory umami bomb. It’s loads more versatile than traditional ketchup, perfect atop burgers or as a pool for fries to swim in, but equally well placed in a stir fry, bolognese or a curry.


Tomato Jam

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

1/8 tsp celery salt

1/8 tsp mustard powder

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 small shallot

4 tbsp sorghum (or honey)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup fermented hot sauce (recipe below)

1/2 tsp liquid aminos (or tamari, soy sauce)

1 tbsp powdered chia seeds (optional to reach desired thickness)


I’ve never been a hot sauce person (you know, one of those that put it on everything from eggs to macaroni and cheese) but I’ve always enjoyed it. It has its place.

Up until now, anyway. Since making this sauce a week or so ago, I’m a convert. I have a jar in the fridge and another fermenting as we speak, doing its best to blend in with kombucha. Unlike most hot sauces I’ve tried (including, especially actually, the one with the rooster on it..), this one is far from one note. It’s tart, salty, a little sweet, sour, full of umami and






Fermented Hot Sauce

10 serrano chiles

6 red fresno chiles (about 5 oz)

2 tbsp garlic, minced

3/4 cup onion, thinly sliced

3/4 tsp sea salt

2 cups water

1 cup distilled white vinegar

Add the chiles, garlic, onion and salt to a medium saucepan over high heat, saute 3 minutes. Add the water, turn down the heat to medium and continue to cook until most of the water has evaporated (~20 minutes). Remove from heat and steep the peppers until cooled. In a food processor, puree the mixture until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly add the vinegar. Strain through a fine sieve.

Place the strained sauce in any non-metal container (ideally a glass jar so you can see through it), cover with cloth secured by a rubber band. Out of the sun, let sit in a warm place for 3-7 days depending on how warm (75+ degrees should take around 3 days). Keep a close eye on it, watch for mold of course (pretty unlikely due to the pH). When bubbles start to form on the top, it’s a good sign!


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