What Is Sweet Soy Sauce? (Uses, Taste + More)

Soy sauce has become an integral ingredient for many recipes around the world, and along with the invention of soy sauce came more types of soy sauce.

One kind of soy sauce you may be curious about is sweet soy sauce. I did the research, and here is what I found!

What Is Sweet Soy Sauce?

Sweet soy sauce is a thick, syrup-like soy sauce that is dark in color and very sweet. Additionally, Sweet soy sauce is commonly called kecap manis. Typically, sweet soy sauce is used in dishes like satays and fried rice. However, you can also use sweet soy sauce in dips, marinades, and more.

Do you want to discover more facts about sweet soy sauce? Keep reading the article to learn more!

Sweet soy sauce, also known as kecap manis in Indonesia, is a type of soy sauce that is very dark in color with a thick, syrupy consistency.

Additionally, sweet soy sauce is an Asian condiment, and sweet soy sauce’s exact origins will slightly differ based on what kind of sweet soy sauce you have.

However, the most popular sweet soy sauce, which is kecap manis, was created in Indonesia as sweet flavors are popular in Indonesian dishes.

What Does Sweet Soy Sauce Taste Like?

Sweet soy sauce tastes very sweet with a molasses-like flavor, but you may also notice a bit of salty and savory notes since sweet soy sauce is still a soy sauce.

Soy sauce is always savory because of the soy proteins, and many soy sauces have salt because salt is added in the fermentation process.

Therefore, you can expect to taste a bit of salty and savory flavors in your sweet soy sauce.

Certain sweet soy sauces may be aromatic as well since certain manufacturers add spices and herbs to their sweet soy sauce recipes.

How Is Sweet Soy Sauce Made?

Normally, sweet soy sauce is first made by making soy sauce as you normally would, which follows a process of fermenting wheat and soybeans with salt and water to create regular soy sauce.

Most manufacturers will take the finished soy sauce and add palm sugar to make the sweet soy sauce thick and sweeter.

However, other manufacturers may opt to add sugar and cornstarch into the soy sauce to achieve the same results.

Keep in mind that the exact way sweet soy sauce is made will depend on the manufacturer.

For instance, certain recipes will steep spices and herbs into the sweet soy sauce mixture, such as lime leaves, lemongrass, star anise, and galangal.

Moreover, certain manufacturers like to add spices into the soy sauce with sugar.

How Do You Use Sweet Soy Sauce?

How Do You Use Sweet Soy Sauce?

Sweet soy sauce is mainly used as an ingredient in satays and stir-fries because the thickness of the sweet soy sauce blends well into satays and stir-fries while adding lots of flavors.

Additionally, sweet soy sauce is a popular ingredient for nasi goreng, which is an Indonesian fried rice dish that is full of savory and sweet tastes.

Moreover, sweet soy sauce can be added to more Indonesian recipes including braised pork dishes, salads, and soups.

You can also try to add sweet soy sauce into a dipping sauce recipe if you want to add more flavor and thickness to your dip.

Is Sweet Soy Sauce The Same As Dark Soy Sauce?

Sweet soy sauce is not the same as dark soy sauce because they have different consistencies.

For instance, sweet soy sauce is very thick since sweet soy sauce is similar to a syrup whereas dark soy sauce is thicker than most soy sauces, but dark soy sauce still maintains a more liquid consistency.

Moreover, sweet soy sauce has a very boldly sweet flavor while dark soy sauce has a milder sweetness.

Additionally, dark soy sauce is a traditional Chinese condiment while sweet soy sauce is from Indonesia.

What’s The Difference Between Sweet Soy Sauce And Regular Soy Sauce?

Sweet soy sauce and regular soy sauce have different textures since sweet soy sauce has a syrupy consistency while soy sauce is more liquid.

Additionally, most soy sauces will have a very strong salty and savory flavor while the main flavor of sweet soy sauce is sweet.

More recipes will call for regular soy sauce since regular soy sauce is a versatile ingredient, and sweet soy sauce is mainly added to recipes that need some sweetness.

What’s A Substitute For Sweet Soy Sauce?

Typically, you can use a dark soy sauce as a sweet soy sauce replacement since dark soy sauce is sweeter than other soy sauces.

However, you may want to add more sugar and a bit of cornstarch into your dark soy sauce to mimic sweet soy sauce.

You can also use regular soy sauce as a substitute for sweet soy sauce, but you will need to add cornstarch and sugar into your regular soy sauce to make your soy sauce taste like sweet soy sauce.

Read our related articles to learn about kecap manis versus sweet soy sauce, sweet soy sauce versus dark soy sauce, and sweet soy sauce substitutes.


Sweet soy sauce is an Indonesian condiment that is very common in many Indonesian recipes, but you can also add sweet soy sauce to a variety of recipes.

Most sweet soy sauces are very thick and dark with a sweet and molasses-like taste, but certain sweet soy sauces can have a unique taste thanks to added spices and herbs.

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