La Diva went traipsing up north to her favorite ethnic grocery stores yesterday to replenish her dwindling supply of sauces, pastes, spices and other exotica that help La Diva’s dishes reach FABULOSITY! So, I decided that every once in a while I will share with you, my darling readers, some of the places and products I LOVE.
Today’s product: Sweet soy sauce or Kecap Manis!
I was turned onto this sauce by my crazy Dutch housemate in Sydney, Marcel! As you know, Indonesia was a Dutch colony and my dear friend was quite an excellent cook of Indonesian food. Marcel was gay, odd and quick with the double entendre, keeping La Diva in stitches! He used the sweet soy in a most divine sate sauce, which I just might share with you one day!
Kecap Manis is a dark and sweet soy sauce from Indonesia (surprise!), used in many dishes and is a primary flavoring component of Nasi Goreng or Indonesian fried rice. (for recipe, click on the link! Go on!) For those of you who are unfamiliar with the dish, nasi goreng is a fried rice dish, traditionally served with prawns and a fried egg on top. It is garnished with fresh tomato and cucumber slices and like all fried rice, the ingredients can vary. Sitting with a view of the steamy mist hanging over the rice paddies in the early morn, La Diva enjoyed nasi goreng daily for breakfast while in Bali…. Sigh…but back to the kecap manis!
The sweet soy sauce is made of palm sugar , soy beans, garlic, and star anise, among other ingredients, and has the texture and color of dark molasses. (Palm sugar is like maple sugar but made from palm trees, of course!) It is said that the modern word “ketchup” derived from kecap or ketjap, an Indonesian term for fermented sauces.
La Diva uses it to flavor marinades, stir fries, fried rice and omelettes or anything that needs a hit of salt and sweet! You can pick it up at PK Oriental Mart, a purveyor of asian groceries. 255 NE 167 St. N. Miami Beach, Florida. 305 654 9646
So, there you go and now you know! Ciao, darlings!
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Originally posted 2009-01-13 12:47:00.