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kecap

Pronunciation: [KEH-chuhp MAH-nees]

Made from soybeans, this intensely dark brown, syrupy-thick Indonesian sauce is similar to, but has a sweeter, more complex flavor than, soy sauce. Kecap is sweetened with palm sugar (see jaggery) and seasoned with various ingredients, which generally include garlic and star anise. It's used in marinades, as a flavoring in various Indonesian dishes and as a condiment. Kecap can be found in Asian markets. Store indefinitely in a cool, dry place.