Kecap manis is one of the quintessential ingredients in Indonesian cuisines. It’s highly versatile but it can be difficult to find sometimes. Now you can make your own homemade kecap manis at home.
Kecap means soy sauce and manis means sweet in the Indonesian language. So kecap manis means sweet soy sauce. Kecap manis has a thick consistency and is sweet in taste. Kecap manis is one of the most popular condiments in Indonesia, even more than the regular light soy sauce (the savory version). Kecap manis is being used in cooking mainly to add sweetness, to add deeper color, as a dipping sauce, as a marinade, etc. It accompanies pretty much a lot of Indonesian dishes. So, it’s a quintessential ingredient! If you cook a lot of Indonesian dishes, it’s hard not to have kecap manis on hand.
Nobody really makes his own kecap manis in Indonesia. It’s a very common condiment and it’s available anywhere from the street market to supermarkets (grocery stores). The two brands of kecap manis that my mom always buys are kecap manis ABC and kecap manis Bango. (not sponsored by any brands). Bango brand is our number one favorite and also by many locals.
Looking at the bottle of kecap manis Bango that my mom brought from Indonesia the ingredients listed are: Sugar, water,salt, and black soy beans. If you look at the bottle of kecap manis Bango that is sold here in the U.S. the ingredients actually is more specific: Palm sugar, water, fermented soybeans, wheat, salt, sodium benzoate. The latter is more detailed compared to the local labeling.
1. Palm sugar Palm sugar or gula Jawa is another quintessential ingredient in Indonesian cuisine. This can only be found at specific Asian grocery store that carries many Indonesian or Malaysian ingredients. You can also substitute with coconut sugar, which is more common nowadays and I can easily get this from the major grocery stores like Walmart (not sponsored) 2. Soy sauce Use your favorite soy sauce. I like Kikkoman soy sauce and so that’s what I use 3. Star anise 4. Garlic 5. Cloves 6. Molasses Kecap manis has that hint of molasses when I take a whiff. So adding it will give it that hint that I really like in kecap manis
How to make easy kecap manis at home 1. Put all ingredients in a heavy-bottom saucepan. It’s important to use a heavy-bottom one so that the sugar doesn’t get burnt easily 2. Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat to let it gently simmer for about 15 minutes. The mixture may still seem thin, but this will thicken up considerably as it cools down. If you cook until it’s really thick, then by the time it cools down it will be too thick
3. We want a thick but can be drizzled consistency after it has cooled down completely 4. Let it cool down completely 5. Use a strainer to transfer kecap manis to a glass jar. Discard the solids. Secure with a tight-fitting lid and it can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months for the best quality.
6. Due to the sugar content, you don’t have to worry about kecap manis goes bad because the sugar also acts as a preservative here. Just make sure you use a clean spoon each time you get some kecap manis to prevent contamination
Sate ayam kecap Sate ayam bumbu kacang Gado gado Nasi goreng Ketoprak Tahu and tempe bacem Mie rebus Medan Ayam panggang bumbu kecap Sambal kecap pedas Semur daging kecap Telur pindang Semur ayam kecap Tahu goreng kecap Tahu telor Ayam goreng mentega Tongseng sapi Indonesian mie goreng Super Easy Kecap Manis Glazed Pan-Seared Salmon Lalapan Ayam Bakar (Sundanese Salad with Grilled Chicken) Batagor (Fried Dumplings with Peanut Sauce) Soto ayam Medan
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 20 servings (15 grams each serving)
Put all ingredients in a heavy-bottom saucepan. It's important to use a heavy-bottom one so that the sugar doesn't get burnt easily
Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat to let it gently simmer for about 15 minutes. The mixture may still seem thin, but this will thicken up considerably as it cools down. If you cook until it's really thick, then by the time it cools down it will be too thick. We want a thick but can be drizzled consistency
Let it cool down completely
Use a strainer to transfer kecap manis to a glass jar. Discard the solids. Secure with a tight-fitting lid and it can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months for the best quality. Due to the sugar content, you don't have to worry about kecap manis goes bad because the sugar also acts as a preservative here. Just make sure you use a clean spoon each time you get some kecap manis to prevent contamination
Of course you can also keep them in the fridge. They can be kept in the fridge for months and months, or even years
You can substitute with brown sugar but please note that coconut sugar or palm sugar is less sweet. Please adjust the amount of brown sugar accordingly.
How To Make Homemade Kecap Manis (Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce)
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Marvellina is a food blogger, recipe developer, photographer, and publisher at What To Cook Today. A food blog that brings you tried and true Asian recipes.