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Ketjap Manis - Indonesian sweet soy sauce

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Marissa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ketjap Manis - Indonesian sweet soy sauce
    Posted: 03 March 2012 at 18:55
I have seen 'ketjap manis' mentioned in several cookbooks with a short description and a simple statement to substitute soy sauce if you can't find it. Well, I've never found it at the store, so I've always just subbed it out. Until now! It's very easy to make following the recipe in Foods of the World: Pacific and Southeast Asian Cooking.

The cookbook tells us that the name of this sauce actually gave us the name of ketchup or catsup, though the ingredients are entirely different. I had always noticed that the name seemed similar but didn't know if that was a coincidence or not!

Quote Ketjap Manis
Indonesian sweet soy sauce

To make about 1 quart

2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups Japanese soy sauce
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp ground galangal
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine the sugar and water in a 2- to 3- quart enameled or stainless steel saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and cook briskly, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until the syrup reaches a temperature of 200F on a candy thermometer. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 3 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve set over a bowl. Tightly covered, ketjap manis may be kept at room temperature for 2 or 3 months.


Despite the long shelf life, we opted to make only a half batch as most recipes only call for a tablespoon or two and a quart sounded like it would last forever!

The ingredients:



(rice added by the "helpful" toddler on the counter)

I didn't take any process photos as it was all very straight forward. Though once the mixture is boiling, it's already over 200F - sugar increases the boiling point of water. So...I just simmered for 5 minutes!

Once done, you have a nice black liquid.



I tasted it and all I could say was "hmm...soy molasses!". I didn't think it good or bad, but I can't really see how to use it, but perhaps I will "get it" with practice - it's in several of the next recipes we are trying. Hubby tried it and thought it was very tasty. Little one saw us tasting and of course had to have her own. She made a face but then gave a one word approval in the form of "MORE!".
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2012 at 19:17
oh, man - i can think of many uses for that. a brush-on sauce for grilled pork, chicken or vegetables come to mind first, or perhaps stirred into a rice dish. 
 
great pictures, and the rice "accent" is perfect in the top one. i think you have an artist, there! like you i've noticed the similarities between ketjap and catsup or ketchup. i honestly don't know if it is an "asia-to-europe" or "europe-to-asia" adaptation. i suppose it could go either way, considering the way that the dutch, portuguese and spanish were slogging around during the days of the spice trade.
 
great job!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2012 at 05:00
I'm with Ron. I can see all sorts of uses for this condiment.
 
I disagree with Time/Life however. The original "ketchups" were made from fermented products. Seafood, such as oysters and anchovies were typical. Also used were mushrooms and walnuts. Indeed, you can still find mushroom ketchup in Great Britain.
 
It wasn't until the 19th century that tomatoes were used. By the late 19th century, tomatoes became the main ingredient.
 
Those early ketchups---both the Indonesian style and early European attempts to copy it----were thin sauces, more like modern Worcestershire than like the thick catsup of today. And they were mostly used the way we use Worcestershire---as a flavoring for other dishes and sauces, rather than as a directly applied condiment.
 
All that aside, I've got ribs on the menu for this week. I'm thinking of finishing them with this sauce  instead of my usual pomegranite bbq sauce. If I do I'll let you know how it works out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2012 at 05:37
Did you use Tamari soy, or just any regular Japanese soy sauce Marissa?
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2012 at 10:16
Hm, I guess that's one of my issues right now. Since I have so little experience cooking meat, I don't have any intuition for what would be good with it. But I took ya'lls advice and served it as a sauce with some of the sate...and everyone loved it!

HistoricFoodie, it was just saying the *modern* (American) ketchup has vastly different ingredients. It didn't go into much detail of the history at all.

Hoser, I'm glad you asked that. I've long known that there are different kinds of soy sauce but I never really looked into it. A few years ago I bought some Tamari and loved the taste so much more than the typical ubiquitous Kikkoman. So it's really all I keep on hand. So yes, I did use Tamari:



And your question prompted me to discover why it was different. So I'm glad to know a little more about it!

Coincidentally, I was listening to The Splendid Table while preparing some Southeast Asian food yesterday and she was talking about soy sauces and a taste test she did. She concluded Kikkoman was the best! I've just never liked it once I found Tamari.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2012 at 10:31
i made a quart of this over the weekend, substituting common ginger for galangal in a 1.5 to 1 ratio, and it worked quite well. i used it for sate ajam and can see quite a few other uses for it as well - looking forward to experimenting with it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote africanmeat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2014 at 01:11
thanks it goes to my to do list .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2014 at 05:53
This would go well with my spring rolls.
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