Other uses of Ketjap Manis
While wandering the sauce/cooking wines aisle of my local Asian market last weekend, I happened upon a 1-liter bottle of Ketjap (aka Kecap) Manis. Since the price was $2.89 for the bottle, I felt like I had stumbled across a find. I've used ketjap manis when making Indonesian satays in the past -- most often, to be honest, I've had to gin up something to approximate it since I don't find it that often -- but a liter of the stuff is quite a bonanza. Does anyone have any other ideas on what I can use it for? I am wondering, for example, whether it might useful in making something like pad see iew, or if there are any traditional Indonesian dishes that include it.
The high sugar content and umami flavor make kecap manis a great ingredient for marinades and dipping sauces. It combines with spicy and sour flavors well in dipping sauce. You can also pour it into broths for soup/stew. When I do South East Asian inspired chicken thigh on the grill, I drizzle a very light lashing of kecap manis on the chicken before serving.
I bought this thinking it was traditional soy sauce. Boy, was I surprised. After researching it further, I decided to use it in a marinade for some beef round I had on hand and discovered a great component for future use.
The beef round was approximately 2-inches thick and was cut against the grain into slices approximately 3/4-inch thick.
My marinade consisted of:
1 cup Welch's Grape juice
1/4 cup ABC Sweet Soy Sauce, Kecap Manis
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup Worchestershire Sauce
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced.
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
8-10 medium fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
3 capfuls Mesquite Liquid Smoke
3 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon hot sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
The beef was then allowed to marinate overnight.
After careful grilling, the beef was wonderfully juicy and had a sweet quality that was well-balanced by the savoriness of the other ingredients.
Ketjap is often used as a condiment, for instance, drizzled over soto ayam (Indonesian chicken soup). It can also be used in babi ketjap (marinate pork chunks in ketjap, garlic, lemon juice, ginger, salt, and pepper; then fry in oil, with marinade). It is also used in sate sauce (peanut sauce).
Selamat Makan! (bon appetit)
The recipes at the following links all use ketjap manis: