Soy sauce is extremely popular, and many varieties of soy sauce like sweet soy sauce and kecap manis are found in tons of recipes.
If you have seen sweet soy sauce and kecap manis, you are probably what the difference is between the two. I did the research, and here is what I found!
Kecap Manis VS Sweet Soy Sauce
Kecap manis and sweet soy sauce are technically the same thing because kecap manis is a type of sweet soy sauce. Any soy sauce that is sweet and thick gets called sweet soy sauce. Kecap manis is a type of sweet soy sauce that originates from Indonesia and can be used in most recipes that call for sweet soy sauce.
If you want to learn more facts about kecap manis and sweet soy sauce, keep reading!
What Is Kecap Manis?
Kecap manis is an Indonesian soy sauce that is sweet and savory, and kecap manis has a very thick, maple syrup-like consistency.
Generally, kecap manis is a very rich soy sauce with a slightly smoky undertone with caramel notes.
What Is Sweet Soy Sauce?
Sweet soy sauce refers to any soy sauce with a primarily sweet flavor, but sweet soy sauces can also have salty and savory tastes.
Moreover, sweet soy sauce can be aromatic since some manufacturers will add more spices into the sweet soy sauce.
Are Kecap Manis And Sweet Soy Sauce The Same?
Technically, kecap manis and sweet soy sauce are the same because kecap manis is a type of sweet soy sauce.
Sweet soy sauce is the catch-all term for any soy sauce with a predominantly sweet flavor and thick texture, meaning kecap manis is a sweet soy sauce.
How Do You Use Sweet Soy Sauce?
Generally, sweet soy sauce is used in any stir-fry for ingredients like noodles, veggies, meat, and rice.
Some examples of recipes that you can use sweet soy sauce include beef and broccoli, fried rice, satays, and more.
Moreover, sweet soy sauce is a very popular ingredient used in Indonesian recipes, so you can use sweet soy sauce in most Indonesian recipes.
Similarly, you can use kecap manis in any recipe that calls for sweet soy sauce since kecap manis is a kind of sweet soy sauce.
Where Is Sweet Soy Sauce From?
Technically, sweet soy sauce is from Indonesia, but the Indonesians were not the ones who created sweet soy sauce.
According to some printed materials, Chinese immigrants settled in Java, Indonesia during the 1800s, introducing salty soy sauce to Indonesia.
Eventually, the Chinese immigrants realized that much of the Indonesian population preferred sweeter foods, so Chinese immigrants added palm sugar or coconut sugar into the salty soy sauce.
Once the sugar was added to the soy sauce, sweet soy sauce was created and was named kecap manis in Indonesia, and kecap manis is now a staple ingredient in many Indonesian dishes.
How Is Sweet Soy Sauce Made?
Generally, sweet soy sauce is first made by making traditional Japanese or Chinese soy sauce since Japanese or Chinese soy sauce will serve as the “base” for sweet soy sauce.
To create traditional soy sauce, cooked soybeans and roasted wheat get mixed with a culturing mold then ferment in brine for several months or years to create a dark and salty soy sauce.
Once the fermentation process is complete, the fermented mixture gets pressed through cloth to separate the solids from the liquid, and the dark liquid is soy sauce.
Next, manufacturers take the soy sauce and mix the soy sauce with melted coconut or palm sugar.
Additionally, manufacturers may opt to add more ingredients to make sweet soy sauce aromatic, and some spices and herbs they may add include lemongrass, star anise, galangal, and such.
Normally, these herbs and spices are meant to steep in the sweet soy sauce then get removed before bottling and selling the sweet soy sauce.
Can I Make Sweet Soy Sauce?
While it may not taste the same, you can make sweet soy sauce at home if you do not have any sweet soy sauce available.
Generally, you can mix molasses, brown sugar, or palm sugar into regular soy sauce or dark soy sauce to create sweet soy sauce.
Keep in mind that making sweet soy sauce may create a much thinner soy sauce, but the result will taste similar to real sweet soy sauce.
Is Kecap Manis Similar To Hoisin Sauce?
Hoisin sauce is a type of condiment created from fermented bean paste, and hoisin sauce and kecap manis are somewhat similar.
Both hoisin sauce and kecap manis are fairly thick and dark sauces used to add flavor and color to recipes, but kecap manis is much sweeter than hoisin sauce.
Can I Use Kecap Manis Instead Of Soy Sauce?
You can use kecap manis instead of soy sauce in specific recipes since kecap manis is significantly sweeter and thicker than most soy sauces.
For instance, kecap manis can easily be used in stir-fries and dips instead of soy sauce, especially if you want a thicker consistency.
However, kecap manis may not be ideal to use over soy sauce in recipes that require only salty and savory flavors.
What Can I Substitute For Sweet Soy Sauce?
You can use hoisin sauce as a quick replacement for sweet soy sauce since hoisin sauce shares a similar appearance, flavor, and texture to sweet soy sauce, but you may want to add sugar to hoisin sauce to make the hoisin sauce sweeter.
Additionally, you can mix brown sugar, palm sugar, or molasses into regular or dark soy sauce to create your own soy sauce, but doing so will give you a sweet yet very thin soy sauce.
Read our related articles to discover mushroom soy sauce substitutes, yellow bean sauce substitutes, and thick soy sauce substitutes.
Kecap manis and sweet soy sauce are the same things since kecap manis is a variant of sweet soy sauce.
Sweet soy sauce is a popular soy sauce used in Indonesia and used in a multitude of recipes to offer color and sweet, savory, and salty flavors.