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Strawberry ketchup

Strawberry ketchup is not among the hundreds of ketchups that Andrew F. Smith discusses in Pure Ketchup: A History of America’s National Condiment. Everything from anchovies and oysters to red beans and whortleberries has served as a base for ketchup but not, apparently, strawberries, until 2013 when Edward Lee created one for service with a steak tartare laced with sesame oil he also created in Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen. Lee’s idea is sound and his ketchup is good. Strawberries like tomatoes after all are fruit, and each of them has a similar acidity, so the substitution is not much of a stretch. Strawberries also pair well with vinegar, and even as a dessert course may be sprinkled with the tart liquid along with or without Sichuan peppercorns. In the skilled hands of lee, strawberry ketchup is less cloying than the traditional tomato too. About a pint of ketchup.

  • 1 lb hulled and sliced strawberries
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • strawberry.jpg2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ½ cup Demerrara sugar
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon good coarse salt, like Maldon
  • another Tablespoon cider vinegar

  1. Simmer the strawberries, onion, soy sauce sugar and ½ cup of vinegar in a small pot for about 15 minutes.
  2. Puree the mixture in a food processer or blender, then run it through a fine strainer and toss the solids.
  3. Whisk the remaining ingredients into the strawberry mixture and divide your ketchup between two jars.


-The ketchup should keep at least a month in the refrigerator.

-Lee uses plain onion.

-In a burst of false precision, Lee instructs his reader to “cook” the strawberry mixture “for 14 minutes.”

-Blackberries make a beguiling alternative ketchup.