How to make Gluten Free Kecap Manis (Dark/Thick Soy Sauce)

This Gluten Free Kecap Manis is an easy homemade version of the popular kecap manis from Indonesia. Although, they often use the term dark soy sauce or thick soy sauce or sweet soy sauce. Mainly in China and Southeast Asia. While they use the term kecap manis in Indonesia. Which is a darker and thicker soy sauce made from light soy sauce and added dark brown sugar or molasses. Sometimes they add caramel colour to give it its unique dark colour and sweetness. In Indonesia, they add palm sugar instead of brown sugar for kecap manis.

Normally, they use kecap manis (darker or thick soy sauce) in cooking. Adding more colour and sweeter flavour to a dish. Besides, they use it less commonly as a condiment. Instead, they use kecap manis in cooking stews or braises (casseroles). As well as stir fries, noodles and fried rice (nasi goreng) for Asian cuisines.

Gluten Free Kecap Manis (Dark/Thick Soy Sauce)

Gluten Free Kecap Manis

For my gluten free kecap manis recipe, I have included two methods of making kecap manis. First method is using blackstrap molasses together with gluten free light soy sauce. Whereas the second method is using dark brown sugar together with gluten free light soy sauce. However, I prefer the first method of using blackstrap molasses. Because it is tastier with an earthy flavour and much healthier than dark brown sugar. This gluten free kecap manis recipe is also low carb, vegan, corn free, dairy free, nut free and egg free.

Nonetheless, I prefer to use Japanese Kikkoman brand of gluten free light soy sauce. Because it has a more aromatic sweeter flavour and darker colour. Compared to other brands of gluten free light soy sauce. In addition for my gluten free kecap manis, I added blackstrap molasses or dark brown sugar. To Kikkoman’s gluten free light soy sauce to give a syrupy thick and sweet sauce. Moreover, Ayam brand has gluten free sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) and gluten free dark soy sauce. These Ayam products are available in Coles and Woolworths supermarket shelves in Australia. Moreover, you can also buy from Ayam online store. While the brand of natural unsulfured blackstrap molasses available in Australia a is Blue Label.

Gluten Free Kecap Manis (Dark/Thick Soy Sauce)

Brief Facts on Soy Sauce

The Chinese invented soy sauce originally in China during the 2nd century from “jiang”, meaning sauce. Then, the use of soy sauce spread throughout Asian, main Southeast and East Asian. In time, light soy sauce called “jiangYou” has substituted the older style “jiang”. Likewise, they make light soy sauce primarily from fermented soy beans and wheat, with added salt and caramel.

Whereas, they make the gluten free version of light soy sauce from fermented soy beans and rice. With added salt and caramel. By and large, people use light soy sauce extensively in many traditional Asian cuisines. Besides, they use it as an essential sauce for seasoning in cooking as well as a condiment. Certainly, it is salty and has less colour and gives a unique flavour or umami to the palate.

Gluten Free Kecap Manis (Dark/Thick Soy Sauce)

About Blackstrap Molasses

Generally, they make dark brown sugar using refined white sugar with around 10 percent molasses added to it. Giving it a pleasant toffee flavour and moisture. But does not really have any huge nutritional values compared to refined white sugar. Due to the molasses added back into dark brown sugar, there’s a small amount of nutrients present. Specifically, potassium, calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals. However, they are too trivial to provide any actual health benefits.

Instead, natural blackstrap molasses is a syrup that is caramel colour, dark and thick with robust flavour. Likewise, they obtain molasses from the processing of sugar cane for bulk production of refined sugar. Previously, they sell molasses as livestock feeds. But as they became aware of the nutritional benefits of molasses, instead they started selling different qualities of molasses. As refined sugar substitutes, baking ingredients and as well as mineral supplements.

Commonly, they use molasses in sauces and marinade. In addition, they use molasses as a flavour enhancer and is a well-liked ingredient in baking biscuits and breads. Moreover, molasses is one of the main ingredients for making gingerbread cookies for their unique flavour. On the whole, types of molasses available are light or dark molasses, sulfured or unsulfured molasses and blackstrap molasses. Although, natural unsulfured blackstrap molasses being the utmost nutritious rank of molasses.

Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses contains essential minerals and vitamins for instance calcium, iron, magnesium, Phosphorus, potassium and selenium. As well as vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). In addition, blackstrap molasses has the lowest sugar substance with a moderate glycemic index (GI) of 55. As blackstrap molasses is low in sugar, it is also a good alternate sweetener for diabetics.

On the whole, the health benefits of blackstrap molasses may include:

  • Improve bone and teeth health;
  • Treat anaemia;
  • Support healthy hair;
  • Promote healthy central nervous system;
  • Boost the immune system;
  • Aid wound healing; and
  • Balance electrolytes in the body.
Gluten Free Kecap Manis (Dark/Thick Soy Sauce)
Gluten Free Kecap Manis (Dark/Thick Soy Sauce)

How to make Gluten Free Kecap Manis (Dark/Thick Soy Sauce)

Kecap manis (dark/thick soy sauce) is normally used in cooking, giving more colour and sweeter flavour to a dish. Frequently used in cooking stews or braises (casseroles), stir-fries, noodles and fried rice (nasi goreng) for Asian cuisines.
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: Condiments & Sauces, Cooking Tips
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Vegan
Keyword: Blackstrap Molasses, Corn Free, Dairy Free, Dark Soy Sauce, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Gluten Free Kecap Manis, Homemade Sauce, Kecap Manis, Low Carb, Molasses, Nut Free, Sweet Soy Sauce, Thick Soy Sauce, Vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 86.55kcal
Author: Daphne Goh



  • In a small pot, add in the gluten free light soy sauce.
  • Add in the blackstrap molasses or dark brown sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Then add in the potato starch mixture. Stir the mixture occasionally to mix well.
  • Turn the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes or until you achieve a syrupy consistency. The sauce will thicken further as it cools down.
  • Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

Recommended Products


Allergen: Soy.
Nutrition Facts
How to make Gluten Free Kecap Manis (Dark/Thick Soy Sauce)
Serving Size
1 people
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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8 thoughts on “How to make Gluten Free Kecap Manis (Dark/Thick Soy Sauce)”

  1. This was a very helpful recipe. Thank you!

    Pls note, getting the LIGHT soy sauce is key! I got gluten free soy sauce, but did not realize that it wasnt “light”. It was offensively salty and no amt of rebalancing or sweetening could help.

    I ended up starting over using coconut aminos instead of the soy sauce and the sauce turned out very comparable to my mother-in-law store-bought black soy sauce. Let’s just say our Caribbean Thanksgiving menu was saved. 🙂

    Thank you again for sharing your knowkedge!

    P.S. I also used arrowroot instead of the corn/rice starch simply because I’m on an elimination diet which makes corn and rice off-limits for now. So, if anyone else is in that situation and needs to make a temporary substitute for the thickener, the recipe can still work.

  2. 5 stars
    At last gluten free Kecap Menis! Made this tonight and used some immediately in a chicken stir fry! Thank you for making this so easy to do.

  3. Thanks so much – gf Kecap Manis – and Aussie website too with local references! I found yr website when googling for gf substitute but now I’m going to a check out the rest of yr site!

  4. You have no idea how much this helps! I developed a wheat allergy 10 years ago, and I am excited to make this when I return from vacation. How long will it keep in the fridge? Thank you so much!!

    • Kecap Manis or dark/thick soy says is used in many Asian dishes. This sauce can last for 2 weeks to 1 month if kept in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. I am glad that you find this recipe very useful. Enjoy! 🙂


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