Recipe For Sweet Soy Glaze
Whip up a batch of homemade Sweet Soy Glaze in just 15 minutes! Also known as Kecap Manis (in Indonesia), this popular condiment makes the best marinade, finishing sauce or even dipping sauce for sushi recipes.
The most popular Indonesian condiment, this sweet soy glaze recipe is traditionally made with soy sauce and palm sugar, but we’re using brown sugar for ease. It’s similar to eel sauce, but sweeter with more depth of flavors.
Kecap Manis (ketjap manis is the Dutch spelling), is pronounced kuh-CHOP MAH-nees. It translates to “sweet sauce”: “Kecap” referring to the 5 Indonesian fermented sauces and “Manis” meaning sweet.
How popular is this sauce? It used up 90% of Indonesians soy sauce production since 2010. Read more about the history.
It’s one of the main ingredients in the national dish of Indonesia: Nasi Goreng (fried rice), as well as Mie Goreng (fried noodles).
Here are a few key ingredients required to make Sweet Soy Glaze. For the full list of ingredients, reference the recipe card below.
Soy Sauce – Use a high quality brand of either light or regular soy sauce. Do not use dark soy sauce as it’s too salty.
Brown Sugar – Can be replaced, in equal parts, with palm sugar or dark brown sugar.
Mirin – Can be replaced, in equal parts, with apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar.
Oyster Sauce – Can be replaced, in equal parts, with hoisin sauce.
How to Make
This Kecap Manis recipe takes only 15 minutes to make, most of it hands off. Here’s a very broad overview with pictures, for those who like visuals to reference when cooking. Check out the recipe card below for the full instructions.
Step 1 – Toast the garlic and ginger in sesame oil.
Step 2 – Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until reduced by half.
Step 3 – Let cool to fully thicken. That’s it!
To use Kecap Manis as a marinade and dipping sauce you’ll need to make a double batch and let cool before using. Just coat the protein before cooking leaving a bit of the sauce un-used to serve as the dipping sauce.
Sugar-based sauces can scorch quickly, so keep an eye on it when cooking.
Soy Salmon Glaze
Our favorite fish to use this sauce on is salmon, but it would also be fantastic on ahi tuna or mahi mahi.
Sweet soy sauce makes a killer nigiri, sashimi or sushi dipping sauce.
Here are a few more uses to get you thinking:
- Grilled Meat Recipes
- Chicken Wing Recipes
- Vegetable Recipes
- Lettuce Wraps
- Stir Fry Dishes (Hunan Beef or Yaki Chicken Udon)
- Use In Place of Teriyaki Sauce
Add a twist to your sweet soy glaze by experimenting with different ingredients and flavors. Just remember to start with the recipe as written if this is your first time making Kecap Manis. Taste and adjust as needed.
Spice It Up – Add a hit of red pepper flakes, Sriracha, chili sauce, Togarashi or even a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
Citrus It Up – Add a bit of lemon or lime juice and zest to brighten up the sauce.
Extra Sweet – For an extra sweet version, increase the amount of brown sugar, to taste.
To make an ultra complex sweet soy glaze, add in a mixture of any of these spices: cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. Don’t go overboard as you don’t want it to overwhelm the sauce, just kick it up a notch.
- Keep the heat setting to medium-low when making Kecap Manis to avoid scorching the sugar.
- Do not over-reduce as it becomes thicker as it cools. It should barely cling to the back of the spoon after reducing by half.
- Kecap Manis can be keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- We don’t recommend freezing. It takes only 15 minutes to re-make and you want top quality.
Sweet Soy Sauce
This sweet soy glaze recipe is a game-changer for any home cook. Its delightful blend of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors makes it the perfect addition to a wide variety of different types of sushi.
- 4 tsp sesame oil
- 3 Tbsp minced garlic
- 3 tsp minced ginger
- ½ cup soy sauce, regular or light (*Note 1)
- 6 tbsp brown sugar (*Note 1)
- 2 tbsp mirin (*Note 1)
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce (*Note 1)
- Add the sesame oil to a small sauce pan and pre-heat over medium-heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Whisk in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil before lowering the heat to medium-low. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes until reduced by half. Do not fully reduce as it will be too thick when cooled. The sauce should mildly stick to the back of a spoon.
- Remove from the heat and let cool to further thicken.