by Melissa Pellegrino and Samantha Seneviratne
The Sweet Chili and Root Beer Baby Backs are flavored with kecap manis (or ketjap manis), a sweet, thick Indonesian soy sauce made with palm sugar, garlic, star anise, and galangal, among other ingredients. It’s available at Asian markets and keeps indefinitely in a cool, dark place. Buy it to make the ribs, but don’t stop there; here are more ways to use kecap manis.
Sweet and sour pork sandwich Sauté ground pork and five-spice powder until cooked through. Stir in a sweet and sour mixture of kecap manis and rice vinegar. Fill a split French baguette with the ground pork mixture and then top with sliced radishes, cucumbers, and cilantro leaves.
Cold soba noodle salad Mix chilled cooked soba noodles with kecap manis, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and sliced chiles. Add shredded rotisserie chicken, sugar snap peas, and sliced carrots.
Glazed striped bass Grill striped bass fillets, occasionally brushing with a mixture of kecap manis, soy sauce, and honey, until the fish is cooked through and nicely lacquered. Serve over jasmine rice, sprinkled with sliced scallions.
Stir-fried baby bok choy Heat peanut oil in a wok until shimmering hot. Add sliced shallots and stir-fry until golden. Toss in halved baby bok choy and kecap manis and stir-fry until tender.
Kecap manis burgers Mix ground beef with minced garlic, ginger, scallions, and kecap manis. Form into burgers and grill. Serve on sesame seed buns with lettuce.
Egg fried rice Fry leftover cooked brown rice with eggs, peas, and kecap manis. Garnish with chopped cashews.