International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Kecap Manis

Bottles of kecap manis

(Indonesian sweet soy sauce)

5
Average: 4.1 (13 votes)

Kecap manis (pronounced like "ketchup") is a ubiquitous ingredient in Indonesian cooking. If you are unable to find it at your local Asian market, this recipe is an approximation. This soy-based sauce is the origin of the word "ketchup," even though the original Indonesian version contains no tomatoes.

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

  • Brown sugar -- 1 cup
  • Soy sauce -- 1 cup
  • Water -- 1/2 cup
  • Galangal root, sliced in discs -- 1 or 2 slices
  • Star anise -- 1 piece

Method

  1. Put the sugar in a small saucepan and place it over a medium-high flame. Stir until the sugar begins to clump together and then melt. Continue stirring until the sugar is completely melted, but do not allow it to burn. Remove from heat — the sugar will continue to cook for a while — and allow it to cool slightly.
  2. Stir in rest of the ingredients. CAUTION! The sugar is still hot, and the liquid may splatter.
  3. Return the saucepan to medium heat, bring it to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar and reduce the liquid to a syrupy consistency.
  4. Strain, cool and store refrigerated.

Variations

  • Use palm sugar instead of brown sugar if you can find it.
  • Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of molasses for a richer flavor.

Comments

I have been using Ketjap Manis for many years but it has become increasingly hard to find. And I get tired of paying for shipping through internet sales. This recipe is nearly perfect, I fiddle with it a little more each time I make it, so I get the flavor I want. I also get to make it using organic ingredients, and it is so simple to make.

Use dark soy sauce, light soy sauce or what kind?