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Ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce)

Ketjap manis is a dark, sweet, and slightly salty Indonesian soy sauce with a syrupy consistency. It is used to season a wide variety of dishes and dips.

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Ketjap manis is a dark, syrupy soy sauce sweetened with palm sugar that often contains star anise, cinnamon, black pepper, coriander, and cloves.

General information:

From Wikipedia: “Sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis) is an Indonesian sweetened aromatic soy sauce, which has a dark colour, a thick syrupy consistency and a unique, pronounced, sweet and somewhat molasses-like flavor due to the generous addition of palm sugar. Kecap manis is widely used with satay. It is similar to, though finer in flavor, than Chinese sweet bean sauce (tianmianjiang). It is by far, the most popular type of soy sauce employed in Indonesian cuisine, accounts for an estimated 90 percent of the nation's total soy sauce production.”

Culinary uses:

“Kecap manis is an essential sauce in the Indonesian pantry. It is used to add a pleasantly mild sweet and umami flavor in most popular Indonesian dishes; including nasi goreng, mie goreng, kwetiau goreng, ayam kecap (chicken), babi kecap (pork), semur beef stew, and ketoprak. It is also a popular marinade for grilled dishes, such as satay, ayam bakar (grilled chicken) and ikan bakar (grilled fish). Sweet soy sauce is also a popular dipping sauce, mixed with chopped shallot and bird's eye chili and served as dipping sauce to accompany tahu goreng (fried tofu). Steamed rice topped with sunny side fried egg and drizzled with sweet soy sauce is a simple yet popular meal among Indonesian children. Today, sweet soy sauce is used as the ingredient of colo-colo dipping sauce, although traditionally this Maluku sauce uses black colored rendered coconut oil residue.”


“In Indonesia there are large numbers of sweet soy sauce brands. Kecap manis is traditionally a small-scale home industry. However there are a handful brands that are widely distributed throughout Indonesia and regionally, such as kecap manis ABC, Bango, Indofood and Sedaap.”


“Sweet soy sauce is widely available in Indonesian marketplaces, warungs, minimarkets, supermarkets, toko and Asian grocery stores worldwide. However, it is quite hard to find in most parts of Europe (except for the Netherlands) and also quite scarce in the Americas. Sweet soy sauce can be made from regular soy sauce. Regular soy sauce mixed with brown sugar, added with a trace of molasses, can serve as a substitute for sweet soy sauce.”

Soy sauce and raw food:

We don’t consider soy sauce to be raw. Soybeans are generally heated during the production process since green beans of all types contain the glycoprotein phasin, which is toxic for humans. Phasin inhibits the absorption of nutrients in the intestine, causes hemagglutination (clumping of the red blood cells), and in larger amounts can destroy the intestinal villi. Heating processes (e.g., cooking and roasting) destroy phasin and make soybeans and soybean products such as tofu, miso, and tempeh edible for humans. As a result, even unpasteurized soy products are not actually raw, but are instead cooked products that have been “revived” through the process of fermentation.


With its sweet and spicy flavor, ketjap manis is a popular ingredient in savory dishes and is used to flavor a wide range of dips and desserts. With its mild and pleasantly sweet flavor, it is the most commonly used soy sauce in Indonesian cooking. It is an ingredient in many typical Indonesian recipes, including Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng, and is used to marinate a variety of dishes including satay. It is also used as a dipping sauce for grilled tofu. You will find sweet soy sauce in Asian grocery stores and well-stocked supermarkets. You can make sweet soy sauce by adding brown sugar and a small amount of molasses to regular soy sauce, but it will not have the typical syrupy consistency.