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Baked Yucca Fries with Grilled Banana Ketchup Grilled Banana for Grilled Banana Ketchup Baked Yucca Fries with Grilled Banana Ketchup

Hi All! So by now I think you’ve all noticed that we get a lot of our food inspiration from all around the world and we have a little thing for international cuisine. I think there’s something so refreshing as well as fascinating about cultural gastronomy with no particular emphasis on “fine foods”. Growing up I was lucky enough to travel to a number of places around the world because my parents loved (and still do love) to travel; neither having been able to do much traveling themselves while growing up, made it a priority to take my sister and I to as many places possible so we could explore the world from an early age [just one of hundreds of reasons I will be forever grateful for my wonderful and inspiring parents].

Another thing about my parents, which I LOVE, is that whenever they’re in a foreign country they’re all about eating where the locals eat. We have travelled great lengths for a good authentic meal….one in particular was a little trip to Mexico years and years ago. My parents had befriended a cab driver who pretty much became our unofficial food guide that whole trip…it was awesome. On our last night we were all in the mood for super fresh grilled fish, our cabbie assured us he had a great place in mind, but that it was a bit of a drive out of town. As long as it was going to be super fresh and tasty, the Park family was game. 4 hours, 1 mountain drive and 1 flat tire later we fiiinnnaaallllyyyy made it to this tiny shack on the beach. Exhausted, grumpy and hungry we ordered pretty much everything on the menu. The last dish that came out was the grilled fish we were all waiting for. It was moist, flaky, flavorful, and unexpectedly covered in this sort of sweet and smoky barbecue type sauce. That dish alone turned all of our moods around and to this very day we still talk about that amazing fish slathered in that even more amazing sauce. I never had a chance to ask them how they made their sauce, but the first time I tasted banana ketchup was the first time I tasted something that even somewhat reminded me of that memorable meal in Mexico.

I made my own version of banana ketchup, using grilled bananas, in attempt to recreate the sauce I once had. I wasn’t exactly successful and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to replicate that very special sauce. What I did end up with though was quite a tasty and unique little ketchup that’s great on a ton of things! We’ve paired ours with some baked yucca fries today…why? No reason really….I just love yucca, especially in fry form! Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients, because the recipe itself is quite easy! Enjoy!
xx Jenny

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Baked Yucca Fries with Grilled Banana Ketchup
Makes 1 quart

grilled banana ketchup:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 ripe bananas
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup pitted and chopped dates
1 tablespoon minced thyme
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey plus 2 tablespoon honey
2 1/2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoon crystalized ginger
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground all-spice
pinch ground nutmeg
yucca fries:
1 lb peeled and cut (into 2”x ¼” sticks) yucca root
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. For banana ketchup: Preheat grill or grill pan on high. Brush each banana (with its peel still intact) with oil. Grill bananas on each side for about 5 minutes. Remove from grill and allow bananas to cool.
2. Peel bananas and break up into chunks and place into a blender. Add onion, garlic, tomato paste, dates, thyme, and water to the blender and blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.
3. Pour mixture into a large pot and stir in remaining ketchup ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. (If the mixture gets too thick, add water 2-3 tablespoons at a time)
4. Strain mixture through a fine sieve and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. (ketchup will hold for 5 to 6 months)
5. Preheat oven to 375°F.
6. Pour yucca fries into a large pot and fill with water. Place over medium- high heat and bring to a boil. Boil fries for about 15 minutes or until just fork tender.
7. Drain fries and spread onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss together and redistribute fried into a single layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until fries are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Lightly season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with banana ketchup.

  1. Heather (Heather's Dish) Not Specified Not Specified

    grilled bananas are genius – and that sauce sounds amazing! i love trying to recreate food that i’ve had in different places!

  2. Ana Cooks Not Specified Not Specified

    “I want it all, and i want it now!” :)

    beatiful photography, as usual!

  3. Sarah Toasty Not Specified Not Specified

    Love yucca and the ketchup sounds so inventive! this is pinned to the to do list!

  4. Tess Not Specified Not Specified

    Oh, wow! I grew up in Panama, eating yucca fries, which I love much more than potato fries, but I never thought of baking them. That’s genius. And though I usually avoid ketchup like the plague (only drizzle it over really bad fries or plantain crisps), this one sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try this recipe! :D

  5. Tess Not Specified Not Specified

    Also, that story was adorable! :)

  6. ileana Not Specified Not Specified

    This sounds awesome! Just like your parents! I’d never heard of grilled banana ketchup, and I loooove yucca fries.

  7. Tiffany Not Specified Not Specified

    Yummm! We love yucca (or what we call mandioca around here — portuguese) in our house. And the sauce sounds perfect for it!

  8. Averie @ Averie Cooks Not Specified Not Specified

    This sounds absolutely awesome and one of my fave posts of yours in awhile! Great job and I want that ketchup on everything!!

  9. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar Not Specified Not Specified

    This is so awesome looking. Grilled banana ketchup?! You guys are so ahead of the game – I always look to you for inspiration!

  10. Healthy Living Val Not Specified Not Specified

    Oh wow, this banana ketchup reminds me a lot of the Filipino-style banana ketchup which is amazing! It can get pretty spicy but it’s sooo good. Yucca fries are my absolute favorite. There’s this one green sauce that you can get from some Peruvian places to dip them into and that’s one of those sauces that I’ve always tried to replicate, to no avail.

  11. Y Not Specified Not Specified

    Wow, grilled banana ketchup sounds pretty special!

  12. Cupcake and Talk Not Specified Not Specified

    I love this recipe. I love trying new recipes. Thank you,

  13. Melanie Not Specified Not Specified

    This combo blows my mind! I’ve never had yucca before but I will have to track it down and give this a try. Thanks for a great post.

  14. Megan Not Specified Not Specified

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  15. sushiqueen Not Specified Not Specified

    What an idea to make banana ketchup! I’d love to try making it, too.

    It must be so delicious :)

  16. Louise Not Specified Not Specified


    I love these stylish recipes!

    Thank you x

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  19. Marina J Costa Not Specified Not Specified

    Here in Brazil, we ate a lot of yucca fries!! It’s a very common snack here. Much more tasty than french fries!!

  20. PolaM Not Specified Not Specified

    Can you send me some? I love yucca fries and have always wanted to try banana ketchup!

  21. Liza P Not Specified Not Specified

    GRILLED BANANAS, how wonderful!! I practically overdosed on grill plantains in Colombia, this is going on my weeks To-Do list! Gracias!!

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  23. Justin Not Specified Not Specified

    Thank you so much for enlightening us all with this recipe and combination that seems to originate from the heavens! I made this tonight following around 80% of the instructions (I had no dates and had a tomato instead of sauce, my apple cider vinegar was also infused with horseradish, ginger, garlic, onions & more) and am was literally wowing myself with every bite, sweating as I scarfed down these delicious almost hash-brown, almost fruity like yucca fries, carefully rationing out my delicious pink sauce from a higher plane of being, customized just right to suit my taste buds, and I swear at one point I even thought to myself, how this is better than anything I have had in a while, even with soy sauce…

  24. Carly Not Specified Not Specified

    So I’ve been eyeing this ketchup recipe for a little while now (creepy right? ;) and I just ran out of my last homemade batch, but then when I looked over the recipe again I saw quite a few sweet ingredients (dates, bananas, molasses, brown sugar and honey) a lot more than I used in my original recipe, so I was wondering, is the ketchup really sweet?

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      It’s not! You can definitely cut back on some of the “sweet” ingredients, but with the banana and lack of tomato acidity, these ingredients are important in brightening the ketchup up :)

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  26. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) Not Specified Not Specified

    So blown away by this post and your creativity! Just love it all.

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  29. Delma Smallwood Not Specified Not Specified

    Thank you for this recipe. It sounds amazing! I have been looking for some healthy alternatives to my normal foods. I can’t wait to try this one on my family, and will let you know how it worked.

  30. Jason Harty Not Specified Not Specified

    What’s the additional 2Tbl of honey for?

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