Indonesian sweet soy sauce aka kecap manis is one of my most used sauces besides soy sauce and oyster sauce. These 3 sauces are a staple in my everyday Asian dishes. Stir fry, noodles, fried rice…and believe it or not, my own concoction of Chinese stew (may share in another time).
So…what’s the difference between soy sauce and kecap manis?
The obvious difference is soy sauce (or light soy sauce) is salty and with a consistency of water; whereas kecap manis is sweeter (manis means sweet in Malay/Indonesian) and has the consistency resembling maple syrup. I use light soy sauce in replacement of salt and kecap manis for color and the sweetness, of course. I like to use these two sauces together to balance the savouriness and sweetness in my Asian dishes.
I’m aware not everyone has a bottle of kecap manis in their kitchens and may not feel like getting a whole bottle for an one-off recipe; or you simply want the satisfaction of making sauces at home.
Either way, I thought you may be interested to make this at home since it’s neither a difficult nor an expensive exercise. Enjoy!
Make Your Own Kecap Manis (Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce)
(I tweaked the quantity of sugar from the recipe found on The Peach Kitchen, as I like it a little thicker and more caramelly)
What you need:-
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup (i.e one half of a quarter cup) brown sugar
Instead of brown sugar, The Perfect Pantry has suggested palm sugar which I thought to be brilliant also.
Let’s get started:-
(1) In small pot, add brown sugar and soy sauce. (2) Boil the sauce over low to medium flame until thickens resembling maple syrup. If the mixture starts to boil vigorously and looks like it is going to overboil, leave the pot away from the flame until the boiling has calm down and continue to boil over low heat. You have to keep a watchful eye while the mixture is cooking to avoid overboiling. As the mixture cools down, it will further thicken.
Here are how I used kecap manis in my dishes:-
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