5 Minute Recipes/ Asian Recipes/ Condiments and Sauces/ Recipes

2 Ingredient Kecap Manis – Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce

05/08/2021

The thick Indonesian sweet soy sauce you know and love – Kecap Manis! You only need 2 ingredients and 7 minutes to easily make this popular condiment at home.

Thick kecap manis on a spoon in a white dish.

Why We Love This

This sauce is SO versatile. Use it in a stir fry, salad, as a marinade or a dipping sauce! One of our favourite ways to use it is for dipping with pandan chicken or spring rolls!

It also keeps a long time in the fridge, as it’s only sugar and soy sauce.

Dark Indonesian kecap manis in a small dish.

What is Kecap Manis? 

Kecap Manis (ketjap manis) is a popular sweet soy sauce from Indonesia. You may know it as the sweet dark sauce in a packet of mie goreng, used it in dishes like nasi gila or squeezed it on top of a big bowl of bakso soup.

At local supermarkets the most popular brands to look out for are the red bottle – ABC Kecap Manis and the blue bottle – Bango Kecap Manis.

What You’ll Need

  • Soy Sauce – Use regular or light soy sauce for best results. If you want a sweeter sauce, use reduced salt soy sauce or add more sugar.
  • Sugar – Brown sugar will work great, or use the more traditional palm sugar if you have it. Molasses or golden syrup also make great substitutes.
Soy sauce and brown sugar laid out to make kecap manis.

How to make homemade Indonesian sweet soy sauce:

  • Place the soy sauce and brown sugar into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil, it will bubble up quite a bit, so stir as you go to avoid any sticking. Important: Remove from heat immediately if it starts to boil over, then reduce the heat slightly to avoid a repeat.
  • Continue boiling for around 7 minutes. You’ll notice the sauce reduces quite a bit. Turn the heat off and allow to thicken on standing.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Keep Watch – It’s so easy for this sauce to boil over, we can’t stress enough to keep watch!
  • Storage – Once made, store in a clean jar in the fridge. It should last well over a month if only using sugar and soy sauce.

FAQs

Best substitutes for kecap manis:

The best substitute if using in a dish would be regular soy sauce and sugar without cooking it down, to give both the salty and sweetness. Next options would be to use hoisin sauce or oyster sauce.

Is kecap manis sweet?

Yes! It’s sweet AND salty. “Manis” literally translates to sweet in Indonesian.

What is the difference between kecap manis and sweet soy sauce?

Nothing, it is the same sauce. Sweet Soy Sauce is the English name, and Kecap Manis is the Indonesian name for the sauce.

Variations

  • Make Sambal KecapOnce your homemade kecap manis is cooled, add some sliced shallots, sliced chilli, sliced fresh tomato and a squeeze of lime juice for a spicy dipping sauce.
  • Add Extra Flavour – For a more robust kecap manis, add in some garlic, ginger and star anise to pack some flavour punch!
Dipping a spoon into homemade Indonesian sweet soy sauce.

These dishes pair perfectly with Kecap Manis:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Shiny, thick kecap manis in a small white dish.

2 Ingredient Kecap Manis – Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce

The thick Indonesian sweet soy sauce you know and love – Kecap Manis! You only need 2 ingredients and 7 minutes to easily make this popular condiment at home.
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Course: Basics, Condiment
Cuisine: Indonesian
Servings: 1 small jar
Calories: 488kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: Under $5

Ingredients

  • ½ cup soy sauce 125ml / 4.2floz, light or regular, reduced salt is even better
  • ½ cup brown sugar 60g / 2oz, palm sugar (most traditional) or molasses

Instructions

  • Place the soy sauce and brown sugar into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil, it will bubble up quite a bit, so stir as you go to avoid any sticking. Important: Remove from heat immediately if it starts to boil over, then reduce the heat slightly to avoid a repeat.
  • Continue boiling for around 7 minutes. You’ll notice the sauce reduces quite a bit. Turn the heat off and allow to thicken on standing.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Make Sambal Kecap – Once your homemade kecap manis is cooled, add some sliced shallots, chilli, tomato and a squeeze of lime juice for a spicy dipping sauce.
  • Add Extra Flavour – For a more robust sauce, add in some garlic, ginger and star anise to pack some flavour punch!
  • Keep Watch – It’s so easy for this sauce to boil over, we can’t stress enough to keep watch!
  • Storage – Once made, store in a clean jar in the fridge. It should last well over a month if only using sugar and soy sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 114g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6511mg | Potassium: 392mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 109g | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 4mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
2 Ingredient Kecap Manis - Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce

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