What is Kecap Manis?
Kecap manis is a condiment popular to Indonesia and surrounding countries. It is a soy sauce condiment with a thick and syrupy consistency and a dark brown color. The flavor is sweet, savory and salty with a molasses taste from the large addition of palm sugar. Kecap manis is popular with satay dishes and goes well with meats.
What does Kecap Manis Taste Like?
...Salty is one of the five main tastes. It has a satisfying and addictive quality with hints of sourness. Salty foods include cheeses, cured meats, chips, and olives. It is used in almost every dish and prepared food. Salt is added to enhance flavor and offer a distinctly salty taste.
...Sweet is one of the five main tastes. It has smooth and round notes in its flavor profile. Sweet is a naturally occurring flavor in many foods, including fruits, berries, winter squashes, sugarcane, and honey. The sweet taste in these foods is due to a higher sugar content. Sweetness is characteristic of desserts and is used as an accent in savory foods.
...Umami is one of five main tastes. It is savory with a depth of flavor. Umami is a taste in many foods, including meat, seafood, beans, and nuts. It is both naturally occurring and created through the specific use of ingredients to create a satisfying taste. Umami is characteristic of proteins and savory dishes.
...Spicy is a flavor that brings heat and fire to food by creating a burning sensation in the mouth or sinuses. Spicy flavors come from hot peppers, horseradish, and wasabi. Spicy adds a kick and sometimes complexity to a dish and releases endorphins, creating a mildly addictive quality.
...Brown sugar comes from the sugar cane or sugar beet. It is less refined than white sugar, but a refined sugar nonetheless. Brown sugar varies in color from light brown to dark brown. Light brown sugar has a milder flavor and lower moisture content, than stronger tasting brown sugar. The taste is mildly like molasses and very sweet. The sugar comes in fine granules that clump together. Brown sugar is used in baked goods for its sweet flavor and ability to make cookies soft. It is also used in many savory dishes to balance flavors.
...Soy sauce is a liquid condiment and seasoning made from fermented soybeans. Traditionally it was been made with just soy, many versions and brands use wheat as well. Soy sauce is dark brown with a thin viscosity. The flavor is intensely salty and umami. Soy sauce is used to season meats, seafood and vegetables, it is also used in sauces to perk up the flavor of the food and enhance other tastes.
...Ginger is a spice whose root is used in food around the world. The root is grown underground and has a hard body and thin beige skin. The root has many rounded and long shoots and is often fat. The flesh of the ginger is golden colored with a flavor that is earthy, spicy and bright. Ginger is made into tea, used in sauces, desserts and savory dishes.
...Garlic is used in cuisines around the world and is extremely popular for its depth of flavor. The garlic bulb forms underneath the soil and is harvested once it reaches maturity. The bulb typically has thin, dry, white and flaky skin, surrounding the individual cloves. Often there are 10-12 cloves to a bulb/head of garlic. The cloves are cream colored with a strong smell and flavor that is spicy and sharp. Garlic takes on a nutty flavor in addition, when cooked. It is used in countless dishes, sauces, breads and more.
...Anise comes from a flowering plant with lacy leaves. The seeds are harvested and used in a variety of cuisines around the world, in both sweet and savory dishes. Star anise seed looks like a brown, flowery seven pointed star. It is used whole, or ground into a powdered spice. The flavor is sweet and similar to licorice and fennel.