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Pork in Sweet Soy Sauce (Babi Ketjap)

User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)


Pork in Sweet Soy Sauce (Babi Ketjap)

Babi Ketjap

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
Like so many other slow-cooked stews, this Babi Ketjap will not be winning any beauty prizes, but it more than makes up for that in flavor. After all, this is home cooking, not some fancy restaurant meal, so who cares? Don't let the cooking time scare you - this recipe couldn't be any easier. Slow doesn't necessarily mean difficult, it's simply a matter of the pot doing all the work for you.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes


  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 lb pork (you can use almost any cut of pork), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste (70 g)
  • 3 tbsp ketjap manis ( a thick, sweetened soy sauce from Indonesia)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • A bunch of fresh cilantro
  • --------------------
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • --------------------
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 chile
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt & pepper
  • --------------------
  • Cooked white rice
  • --------------------
  • Sambal (or another chile paste)


In a large pot (I use my cast iron Le Creuset), fry the onions in the oil. Turn the heat up, add the meat and brown on all sides. Now turn the heat down a bit and add the aromatics and the garlic. Stir in the tomato paste, ketjap manis and vinegar.

Cover with enough water to cover the meat and bring to the boil. Now simmer for 3 or 4 hours on a low heat. The sauce will have thickened considerably. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Chop the cilantro leaves and strew over liberally just before serving.

In a dry frying pan toast the peanuts. They're done when the peanutty fumes hit your nose. Add the coconut and fry until golden. Remove from the pan and serve in little bowls.

Halve the cucumber lengthways. Gouge out the seeds using a teaspoon. Discard seeds. Now cut the cucumber into thin half moon slices. Place the slices in a bowl. Cut the chile in half, remove the seeds and chop very finely. Add to the cucumber. Now make a salad dressing by adding together the oil, vinegar, and a pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Drizzle some of the salad dressing over the cucumber salad. Toss and serve.

I like to serve the Babi Ketjap with cooked white rice, sambal paste, cucumber salad and little bowls of the peanut & coconut mix.

Serves 4.

User Reviews

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 4 out of 5
Never judge the book by its cover... :), Member Lemongrassandcoriander

Or in this case.... don't look at the brown mess on the plate.... Just take the recipe and make it. Being half Asian I can be considered a true expert when it comes to Indonesian food and this is a lovely recipe. It was absolutely delicious and I am sure my grandmother would have loved it (and boy, was she a picky eater !!) This is a great dish, you can even make it (probably even better) a day ahead . Love it.

22 out of 23 people found this helpful.

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