Substitute for Kecap Manis

Kecap manis is a thick, sweet soy sauce that’s used in many Southeast Asian dishes and desserts.

What can I substitute for kecap manis?

I’m looking to make a sweet and sour sauce, or another recipe that asks for kecap manis – What can I use instead of kecap manis.

Can be used in fish cooking – see Mahi Mahi taste

What can I substitute for adobo sauce?

The 7 Best Ketjap Manis Substitutes for 2024. – TESTED

Compared to some of the more commonly known Asian sauces, ketjep manis isn’t exactly an everyday sauce. What if you’re making an Indonesian dish and don’t have access to ketjap manis, you’ll need to find a substitute. We’ve done the testing for you to bring you great substitutes and alternatives so that you can make the dish without any delays.

1. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce has been around since ancient times, but only recently did people start using it on their foods. In fact, soy sauce was originally made from fermented soybeans, which were ground into paste before being mixed with water.  All you need to do is add some brown sugar and a little molasses and you have a great substitute.

You can also consider Dark Soy Sauce

Ingredients to make your own Ketcap manis

1 cup water

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 cup soy sauce

Method to make your own ketcap manis

When you add water and brown sugar to a saucepan, make sure it’s on medium heat. The liquid can be boiled for five minutes until it reaches 230F. It will be a big help if you have a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature.

Next, turn down the heat to a smooth simmer and then stir in the molasses and soy sauce.

Then permit the mix to cool and  you are good to go with your own homemade ketjap manis you can easily use in any recipe.

2. Hoisin sauce

Hoisin sauce is another good alternative because it contains similar ingredients to ketjap manis such as tamarind paste, vinegar, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, and starches. 

3. Oyster sauce

Oyster sauce is another great alternative to ketjap manis because it adds a similar depth of umami flavor while being much less expensive. The key here is to make sure you buy oyster sauce that contains no MSG. You may find brands labeled “Chinese” but these contain wheat gluten which gives them their characteristic chewy texture. Instead, opt for those marked simply “oyster.” This should cost around $4 per bottle.

4. Tamari sauce

Tamari sauce is another great alternative to ketjap mani because it tastes similar to it. The only difference between them is their thickness. You may find tamari easier to work with if you want to thicken up other sauces like hoisin or oyster sauce.

 5. Tianmian sauce

Tianmian sauce is another great alternative to ketjap mani because it is similar in thickness but not quite as sweet. The main difference between tianmian and other Chinese sauces like oyster sauce is that tianmian contains no wheat flour. This means that it doesn’t contain gluten which may cause problems if you suffer from celiac disease. You should always check ingredients lists before using these types of products.

6. Tamarind paste

Tamarind paste is made from sour, dark, sticky fruits that grow in pods on a tamarind (tamarind) plat or really a tree. It is used mainly in savory dishes and can in some cases be used instead of ketcap manis but adding some brown sugar to tatse.

Homemade Tamarind paste 

  • 1 cup tamarind pulp
  • 2 cups water
  • sugar to taste

Mix all the ingredients and boil it. Cool down, strain out the solids and use as a sweetener or dip for bread/rice cakes etc..

I have used this recipe many times with my kids and they love it!

Tamarind paste a good Substitute for Kecap Manis: 1 tsp of sugar + 2 tbsp milk powder+ 3-4 drops vanilla essence 

7. Shoyu Sauce

Shoyu is a type of Japanese sauce made from wheat and soy beans. It is similar to soy sauce but sweeter and less harsh.

What does Kecap Manis taste like?

Kecap Manis has an almost molasses-like taste with hints of vanilla or caramel.

What Recipes go with with Kecap Manis:

  • Baked Chicken Breast with Kecap manis
  •  Turmeric Rice
  • nasi goereng
  • peanut sauce

Is kecap manis the same as sweet soy sauce

Also called ketjap manis (Malay/Indonesian), this sweet soy sauce is a thick and dark molassesy sauce with palm sugar and salt as its base. It is sometimes referred to as “Sweet Soy Sauce.”

Can you substitute kecap manis for soy sauce

Yes, with a little sugar in the soy sauce.

Can I use kecap manis instead of oyster sauce

Yes, but the taste will be different. I don’t think so. Kecap manis is made from palm sugar, which is not a natural ingredient. Oyster sauce has a lot of umami flavor, which is why it’s used in many Asian dishes. It’s also rich in glutamic acid, which gives it its savory taste.

What supermarket sells ketjap manis

Walmart has ketjap manis for sale.

How long does homemade Ketjap Manis last

It depends on how you take care of your jar or bottle. If it was sealed properly then it could keep for up to 1-2 years. We keep ours in the fridge after it is opened.

Is kecap manis same as hoisin sauce

Ketcap manis vs hoisin suace- Sweet soy sauce called kecap manis is an Indonesian sauce that is sweeter than hoisin sauce. However you can substitute ketap manis for Hoison sauce, it will just be a little sweeter in taste.

What is the Best kecap manis brand

Although there are many different brands of kecap Manis (a sweet soy sauce) in Indonesia and the Netherlands the two best brands are ABC and Cap Bango. Both these brands plus many others  are readily available in the United States.

What is kecap manis made of

Kecap manis is made of soy sauce with palm sugar, garlic, star anise, and galangal. It is quite sweet, from thepalm sugar, and thick like molasses. 

Golden Syrup Substitute