By Tim Cebula
Updated: January 30, 2017

Prized as an all-purpose condiment in its native Indonesia, kecap manis (pronounced KEH-chup MAH-nees) is a syrup-thick soy sauce sweetened with palm sugar and infused with garlic and star anise. When soup, stew, or chili needs a little depth, a teaspoon or two of kecap manis may be just the thing. You can even try it in desserts: A smidge in cookie batter or caramel sauce delivers incredible complexity. Look for it at Asian markets, or buy online at