Sweet and Sour Satay Soy Sauce

If you make satay, the sauce that you serve with it is almost as important as the marinade for the meat. This super simple but delicious satay soy sauce is the perfect condiment for your crispy satay.

I like this sweet-sour sauce. It is made with kecap (sweet soy) sauce and with half a teaspoon of jinten (cumin powder). The sourness comes from two tablespoons of tamarind that goes into the mix.

sweet and sour satay soy sauce

Satay soy sauce

Beb has several tasty sauces in her book that fit very well with satay, or eggs or fish or tempeh ;-). Want to see my four favorite Indonesian BBQ sauces? Watch this clip on how to make them.

Sweet and Sour Satah Soy Sauce # 464 translated from Beb Vuyk Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 376.


  • 1 tablespoon of chopped onions
  • 2 shredded cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Javanese sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon jinten (cumin)
  • 3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons kitchen tamarind (sweetened tamarind)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  1. Rub onion, garlic, sugar, and jinten into a paste.
  2. Mix it in the soy sauce, tamarind and then the oil.
  3. When sweet soy sauce is used, the sugar can be left out.

Sometimes the sweet soy sauce is very sweet. In that case add a few drops of lemon juice. This sauce can be used on satay.

sweet and sour satay soy sauce ingredients

I use asem (tamarind) from a jar that has already been filtered. I do not use the sweetened tamarind Beb uses in her recipe (I just do not have that around in my pantry). My kecap is the sweetest I know (ABC Ketjap Manis), so adding more sugar is not really necessary.

sweet and sour satay soy sauce mixed in cobek

I finely chop the onions and garlic and grind them even better in my old mortar. I add the tamarind and soy sauce (kecap) bit by bit. In the end, I add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

sweet and sour satay soy sauce with tamarind, sweet soy sauce and oil

Extra lemon juice is not really necessary, but it can help you to reach the perfect balance of sweet and sour. I always taste before adding some extra lemon or lime to perfect it. 

I love the fact that this sauce contains a lot of onions. They stay crispy in the delicious sweet and sour coating. I let the sauce rest for a while (10 minutes) before serving to let the flavors settle.

sweet and sour satay soy sauce drizzled over freshly roasted satay
Sweet and sour satay soy sauce drizzled over freshly roasted satay

See how I make saté? Check these links:

sweet and sour satay soy sauce over three roasted satay on a mango wood plate

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