Baked Chicken in Sweet Soy Sauce

Origin: Semarang, Middle of Java Province


  • 1 pc free-range chicken weighing about 1 kg/2-2.2 lb ) or other chicken part, cut in portions, washed
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp, soak with 2 tbsp warm water
  • 6 tbsp Indonesian sweet soya sauce / Kecap Manis
  • 450 ml water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Spice for the paste

  • 2 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 10 pc shallots, chopped
  • 5 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 pc candlenuts,roughly chopped or crashed
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ½ tsp salt or to taste

Baked Chicken in Sweet Soy Sauce

This time I introduce you to the classic recipe from Semarang which is very popular: Ayam Bakar Kecap or Grilled Chicken in Sweet Soy Sauce.
This traditional stall or "Warung" which serve Ayam Bakar Semarang is a favorite amongs locals & singaporeans in Batam Island, south of Singapore because it is famous for its simple but delicious taste. Have a try, maybe it suits you 🙂
Important Note: Use only the original Kecap Manis. They usually label it completely "Kecap Manis or Ketjap instead of Indonesian sweet soy sauce only".
Just shake the bottle downside to prove its authenticity, 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, otherwise you'll ruin the taste!


  • Cut chicken in smaller portions, rinse in a running water. Put aside.
  • Rub around the chicken with salt & tamarind juice water. Put aside in a fridge for 15 minutes
  • Prepare and peel off all ingredients for the paste, cut in smaller piece if necessary.
  • Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (If necessery add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok or big skillet/frying pan over medium heat. (Don't add oil if already added in a blender or just add little bit only). Add the paste.
  • Saute the paste & stir all the time until the paste fragrant & well cooked.(about 3-5 minutes, make sure the paste is really done to obtain the best taste!
  • Add the chicken and stir to mix. Cook until the chicken becomes harder and it's colour turns to white. If necessary pierce the chicken with a fork for the marinade to seep into the chicken.
  • Add the water and bring to boil. Stir occationally.
  • Add the kecap manis, salt & sugar. Stir to mix
  • Adjust the heat between low and medium heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the chicken well cooked and sauce is driven-off and thickens.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. Meanwhile preheat oven to 390°F (200°C). Transfer the chicken in a Pyrex Glass or baking pan.
  • Coat the chicken with left over sauce and bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes until lighlty dark brown.
  • Serve hot with rice, letuce, cucumber and Sambal Bajak.


  • For Grilled Chicken: grill the chicken on charcoal or under electric gas/grill as the common practice used by Indonesians.
Keyword baked chicken, Indonesia, Kecap Manis, sweet soy sauce

“Thank You for visiting my site. I won’t bother you with my life stories LOL :-D. Just get the recipe, have a fun while cooking and enjoy your meal!”

Endang Lestari

“Thank You for visiting my site. I won’t bother you with my life stories LOL :-D. Just get the recipe, have fun while cooking and enjoy your meal!”

Endang SW Lestari

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