Spicy Ribs with Sweet Soy Sauce

Origin: Indonesia


  • 1 kg beef ribs, cut in each single piece
  • 3 pc kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, bruished
  • 5 pc shallots, roughly pounded
  • 5 tbsp Indonesian sweet soya sauce / Kecap Manis
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 100-200 ml hot water
  • vegetable oil

For the paste

  • 5 pc big red chillis
  • 5-10 pc bird chillis (add more bird chillis if you like it more spicy)
  • 3 gloves garlic
  • 3 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed (optional)
  • 2 cm fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar to taste

Spicy Ribs with Sweet Soy Sauce

This is a typical beef ribs dish beside many of indonesian beef ribs soups. Made with lot of chilis & of course a special Indonesian soy sauce or kecap Manis. It tastes spicy, sweet, a bit sour and delicious 😉
To get the optimum result, use only the original Indonesian sweet soy sauce or known as Kecap Manis. This sauce is thick, sweet and contains almost no salt. This is the simple trick to recognize it's originality:
1. They usually label it completely "Kecap Manis or Ketjap instead of Indonesian sweet soy sauce only".
2. Just shake the bottle downside, if the sauce has a thick, almost syrupy consistency then you get it right. If it flows like water then never think a twice to even try, coz I have enough experience with them, especially in my first year living abroad and was desperately looking for my "beloved Kecap Manis" 😉


  • Prepare all ingredients for the paste. Cut in smaller pieces if necessary.
  • Put all ingredients for the paste except shallots in a wet mill/grinder and grind/blend until smooth.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pound the shallots just roungly. Put aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan, sauté the pounded shallots until fragrant.
  • Add the paste, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Stirring all the time until well cooked & fragrant (approx. 3 minutes)
  • Adding lemon grass.
  • Add the ribs and stir to mix. Cook until the meat becomes harder and it's colour turns to white.
  • Add boiling water, cook gently over medium heat until the meat is almost cooked.
  • Add kecap manis and cook for a while on low heat until the paste is being absorbed into the meat.
  • Add the lime juice stir to mix. Adjust the taste, add salt or sugar in necessary.
  • Grill the ribs on charcoal or under electric / gas grill /pan grill for about 3-5 minutes on each side, turning them over once.
    You can also bake the ribs in a pre-heated oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 25-30 minutes until brown.
Keyword Indonesian, Kecap Manis, spare ribs, spicy, sweet soy sauce

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