Kecap Manis (Sweet Soy Sauce) 

Kecap Manis (Sweet Soy Sauce) is a popular Indonesian condiment you can use as a glaze, dressing, marinade, dipping sauce, and more. So sweet and aromatic, this 3-ingredient sauce is easy to make and a must-have in your fridge!

Find out why Kecap Manis (Sweet Soy Sauce) is Indonesia’s most popular condiment by making it yourself at home! It’s a thick, syrupy, and sweetened version of soy sauce you can use as a glaze, dressing, marinade, or dipping sauce.

The best part is it’s easy to make using only 3 ingredients!

Although homemade sweet soy sauce lasts for up to 3 months in your fridge, you may run out well before then because it can be used virtually anywhere. Its delightfully sweet, savory, and umami flavors can bring balance to fried rice, grilled chicken glazes, steak marinades, soup broth, stir fry, and more.

Basically, you can use it anywhere you would regular soy sauce, liquid sweeteners, or brown sugar.

What is kecap manis?

Kecap manis (AKA ketjap manis) is an Indonesian condiment made by simmering soy sauce and palm sugar together. “Manis” is an Indonesian word meaning “sweet”, giving this syrupy sauce a second name, “sweet soy sauce”.

It has a thick, molasses-like consistency and a sweet and salty flavor. While it’s traditionally only made with 2 ingredients, simple aromatics, such as garlic, star anise, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, and cloves, can be added to give the condiment a layered flavor profile.

Soy sauce vs. kecap manis

While both of these condiments have a soy sauce base and various uses, the flavors and consistencies are quite different. Soy sauce is a thin sauce with a salty and savory flavor. It’s a must-have condiment when putting together Asian-inspired glazes for Vietnamese chicken wings, flavoring fried rice, making Pad Kee Mao, other Asian-inspired sauces, and more.

Kecap manis has a thick, syrupy texture. It has just as many uses as regular soy sauce, but the added sweetness makes it extra valuable when you need to bring balance to your meals or give them an extra boost of flavor. It’s a delicious grain bowl dressing, dipping sauce, addition to glazes and marinades, and so much more.

What is kecap manis made of?

You only need 3 ingredients to make sweetened soy sauce at home:

  • Soy sauce
  • Brown sugar or palm sugar
  • Garlic cloves

Feel free to add even more aromatics (like ginger, star anise, or black pepper) to take it up a notch or keep it simple by omitting the garlic.

Soy, brown sugar, and garlic on counter.

How to make sweet soy sauce:

This homemade kecap manis recipe makes about 1 cup. Use it all right away or store it for later!  Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring it up to a boil. Reduce the heat and leave it to simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. You’ll know the sauce is ready when the sugar has dissolved and it’s begun to thicken.
  4. Take it off the heat and pour it through a sieve to strain the garlic. Leave it to cool completely, then store the sauce in the fridge for later.


  • Bottle your sweet soy sauce and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Kecap manis uses:

Kecap manis truly has 1 million different uses. suggests using it wherever a savory recipe calls for maple syrup, honey, agave, or brown sugar. If you want to start using your homemade sauce right away, I’d suggest trying it in any of these recipes:

Pouring sweet soy sauce into small bowl.
Bowl of kecap manis with spoon.

I hope you loved this tutorial on how to make sweet soy sauce. If you did, I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

More homemade basics:

Sweet Soy Sauce Recipe

Spoon drizzling kecap manis into bowl.

Kecap Manis (Sweet Soy Sauce)

Kecap Manis (Sweet Soy Sauce) is a popular Indonesian condiment you can use as a glaze, dressing, marinade, dipping sauce, and more. So sweet and aromatic, this 3-ingredient sauce is easy to make and a must-have in your fridge!
No ratings yet
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people


  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed and peeled)


  • Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce begins to thicken, 10-15 minutes. (It should coat the back of a spoon, but note that it will continue to thicken as it cools.)
  • Strain the garlic from the sauce and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.


Makes about 1 cup.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!




Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 814mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Watch the web story here.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.