Chicken in Kecap Sauce (Soy Sauce)

This is a chicken in kecap sauce recipe, or as I know it: Ajam Kecap. We try to eat less and less meat, but if we eat meat, we try to make it into a feast.

This Beb Vuyk’s chicken in kecap sauce recipe is festive and fits well in this December month because nutmeg and cloves are added to the sauce. Enak! Let’s put it all together.

This chicken in kecap sauce recipe is enough for 4 people and is done in 1 hour.

Chicken in Kecap Sauce # 273 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 236.


1 small chicken of +/- 800 grams
6 tablespoons of oil
2 tablespoons of vinegar


3 tablespoons of chopped onions
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cloves
2 tablespoons sauce

Cut the chicken into 4 pieces and rub them with pepper and nutmeg. Sauté in the oil until golden brown. Add the onions for the last few minutes until they are yellow-brown. Then add a dash of water and finish the gravy with the soy sauce and the vinegar. Add the cloves to the simmering sauce.

Beb uses a whole chicken. Fun and certainly beautiful for a Christmas dinner, but I think it is more convenient to buy legs or wings. Buy chicken with the bone though, because that just gives a lot more flavor.

Ketjap is one of the main flavors of this dish. I am fond of kecap ABC. This is super sweet soy sauce sweetened with Javanese sugar.

I rub the chicken well with pepper and nutmeg. Rarely does Beb indicate how much pepper or nutmeg goes through a dish, but this time she does. The amounts are probably important, so I stick to her quantities.

I also use red onions, sweeter than regular white onion.

I use my cast iron pan to sauté the wings.

When the wings are done on one side I add the onions.

I pour in a bit of warm water. Not too much. I make sure that the chicken is for about 1/3 under.

Then I finish the gravy with the vinegar and …

… the sweet soy sauce. Chicken always needs some time to be done. I put the lid half on the pan and let my wings gently simmer for 25-35 minutes. Then I turn off the heat and keep the lid on the pan. Allowing the meat to rest for 15 minutes. The juices have time to go back into the meat.

The vinegar and sweet soy sauce make your meat even more tender. The cloves provide an extra Christmas flavor. This is an accessible recipe. We eat our chicken with kecap sauce with white rice and a simple atjar of cucumber.

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2 Responses

  1. Lee Thayer says:

    Sounds like an excellent dish. I make a Chinese Sausage and Chicken dish that was loved by my Thai family, I am looking forward to preparing this. I will return with results soon. Thank you, and Beb, for the great recipe.

  2. Andrea Adams says:

    Excellent recipe! I tried this twice with Organic Chicken (in Bali) and chicken I bought from my local grocer. I never knew organic chicken could make such a difference. But more than that, this recipe is absolutely delicious! My kids and husband loved it and ask for this to me made almost every weekend! Thank you for this recipe.

    PS: I bought my organic chicken from Could you please tell me where you get your chicken from and whether it is organic?

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