Take the calyxes off the tomatoes and wash them well. Chop up roughly and put into a blender.
Strain the blended tomatoes from Step 1 into a large bowl to remove all the seeds and skins.
Leave the strained tomatoes alone for 15 to 30 minutes. It will gradually separate into the red part and the liquid.
We'll use 1 to 1.5 kg of the red part for the ketchup. Don't throw away the liquid!
Put the red tomato part from Step 4 into a deep stainless steel pot with heavy sides (a pot that doesn't burn easily), and simmer over medium heat. It will foam up, so mix so that it does not boil over.
When the bubbles have disappeared and the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down to low-medium and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir occasionally!
Add the ○ ingredients to the pot, and keep simmering while stirring occasionally so that it doesn't burn. The liquid may splatter so be careful!
When the volume of the liquid has reduced by half, add the ● ingredients and keep simmering while stirring occasionally (if you have small children, you can leave out the spices).
When the mixture in the pot is no longer liquid, turn off the heat (it should have reduced to about 1/3rd of its original volume). Leave to cool down a little.
If you prefer the ketchup to be looser, turn the heat off while there's still a little liquid left.
Taste the ketchup around Steps 8 and 9, and add a little sugar if it's not sweet enough to your taste.
When the Step 9 ketchup has cooled down, strain it to remove the bay leaves and cloves.
After it has been strained, process the ketchup in a blender to make the texture really smooth.
Pack into a heat-sterilized jar or bottle and it's done! It lasts for 2 weeks or so in the refrigerator.
Use it in various recipes, just like storebought ketchup (for omurice, tamagoyaki, croquettes etc. )
If you strain the leftover tomato liquid through a coffee filter, you will get clear liquid that looks like lemon water.
It takes 1/2 to 1 whole day to strain the liquid, so do it in the refrigerator.
You can add honey to the strained liquid to make tomato juice! Or you can turn it into jelly!
When making ketchup, you can use all the tomato puree without separating the red solid parts from the liquid! I separate it since I make jelly with the liquid.
Story Behind this Recipe
We live on a farm so we have lots of tomatoes. This ketchup is one way we use them up. Homemade ketchup has no preservatives, so you can give it to small children without worry. Serve homemade ketchup with your everyday meals to bring smiles to the dinner table.
By blitzing it in a blender and then separating it, you can cut down on the time needed to evaporate the liquid. The liquid can by strained (optional) and used in many ways, so it's a waste to evaporate it!