7 Unusual (But Delicious) Uses For Ketchup Slideshow

Yes, that's right. Pad thai. There are probably a few people out there scratching their heads, wondering what the heck ketchup would be doing in pad thai, or Asian cuisine in general. Well, ever wonder how pad thai noodles get that slightly orange tint? Or that unmistakable tang? That's right — it's not just vinegar. There's ketchup in the sauce that coats the noodles. It's really not that weird — pad thai is an Americanized favorite anyway.

Click here to see the Easy Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe.

2. Cheeseburger Pies

Honestly, I'd personally never heard of cheeseburger pies until our intrepid Entertain editor, Francesca Borgognone (who is also a talented cook and avid fan of broccoli rabe — but, I digress) volunteered to make them one week for our Slow Cooker Challenge. A few other staff members tried making this recipe at home after it was published, and they too swear by it. So, give it a shot. Phyllo dough, cheese, a healthy helping of meat, and yes, a nice squirt of ketchup on top. How can anyone resist?

Click here to see the Mini Cheeseburger Pies Recipe.

3. Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Indeed, a key ingredient in any sweet-and-sour sauce recipe worth attempting is ketchup. This popular and versatile sauce works both as a condiment — say, as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or wontons — and also as a base for stir-fries.

Click here to see the Mandu (Korean Dumplings) Recipe.

4. Chicken Tikka Masala

Again, this isn't purely in here for shock value. OK, maybe a little bit. This darling of any Indian takeout joint worth frequenting is not, in the strictest sense, Indian in origin. There are many versions of the story, but most seem to agree on one thing: This dish was invented somewhere in Britain. And even though it is chiefly a British Indian dish (do people say that?), some versions make use of an all-American food product: ketchup. Should a proper tikka masala use ketchup? Who knows. But a tablespoon or two of ketchup adds a sweetness that some people might like. Try it. Anyway, it's hard to say whether there really is a "proper" tikka masala.

Click here to see a proper Tikka Masala Recipe.

5. Homemade Thousand Island

Is it possible to fake one's way through Thousand Island dressing? Perhaps. The next time a trip to the store just seems too much of a hassle, the daring (or lazy) can try mixing equal parts mayonnaise and ketchup with a bit of relish and a dash of Worcestershire, if handy. Some people swear by it. Give it a shot.

Click here to see the Juicy Lucy Recipe.

6. Spaghetti Neapolitan

This dish is probably not going to strike people as Italian. It is, in fact, what is known as "yoshoku" — Western food adapted for Japanese tastes. Most recipes are pretty simple and similar: The spaghetti gets cooked as usual, and meanwhile, the interesting part happens. Take some sliced or chopped up bell peppers, onions, and hot dogs (yes, hot dogs) and sauté them in canola oil until the hot dog is just cooked through (note the omission of olive oil). When the pasta is done, drain and add to the mixture. Stir in just enough ketchup to coat, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ta-da! We swear, it's big in Japan.

7. Shawarma Marinade

Yes, ketchup makes its way into barbecue sauce, hot wing marinades, and sloppy Joes — all very predictable. But we're spinning the globe again, and we've discovered once again how far ketchup has traveled. Sawsan Abu Farha, author of the award-winning food blog Chef in Disguise, spent a considerable amount of time developing this recipe, vowing to never go out for shawarma again.

Click here to see the Chicken Shawarma Recipe.