12 Best Sweet Soy Sauce Substitutes | Soy-free Kecap Manis

Kecap Manis is a dense, sweetened soy sauce that originates from Indonesia. It is often used as a marinade or dipping sauce and adds a unique flavor to any dish.

It has a unique flavor and is hard to find outside, so try using these Kecap Manis or sweet soy sauce Substitutes.

What is considered sweet soy sauce?

Soy sauce is typically salty, but “sweet soy sauce” is a term used to describe a soy sauce that has been mixed with sugar or other sweeteners.

The result is a soy sauce that is less salty and sweeter. Sweet soy sauce is often used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or glaze.

It can also be used in stir-fries or other savory dishes to add a touch of sweetness. Sweet soy sauce is available in most Asian markets and some supermarkets.

Which soy sauce is sweet?

When we hear about soy sauce, it tastes like a salty yet umami flavor. But Indonesian Kecap Manis or ketjap manis, Thai Dark Sweet Soy Sauce ( sii-íu wǎan), 

Japanese kanro shōyu and Saishikomi is a sweet soy sauces, Chinese Dark and old soy sauce (lǎo chōu), and Thick soy sauce (jiàng yóu gāo) -these are all sweet sauces available across eastern and southeast Asian countries.

What is a replacement for sweet soy sauce?

A replacement for sweet soy sauce is a condiment made from a variety of ingredients, including soybeans, wheat, salt, and sugar.

There are tons of subs out there to replace sweet soy sauce, including- Tianmian sauce, Coconut aminos(soy-free), Worcestershire sauce, shoyu, Chinese dark sauce, thick soy sauce, and my 6 DIY homemade Sweet soy sauce alternatives.

12 Ideal Sweet Soy Sauce substitutes

1. TIANMIAN SAUCE – Best Indonesian sweet soy sauce substitutes

Tianmian sauce is a thick, dark brown sauce made from soybeans. It is used as a condiment in Chinese and Indonesian cuisine.

Tianmian sauce is made by fermenting soybeans with wheat flour, water, salt, and sugar. The mixture is then cooked until it becomes a thick paste.

tianmian sauce is a thick, dark brown sauce which is agreat alternative for sweet soy sauce

The sauce has a sweet, slightly salty flavor and is used as a dipping sauce or to add flavor to stir-fries, marinades, and sauces.

Tianmian sauce can be found in Asian markets or online. It is also known as sweet bean sauce, thick soy sauce, or Chinese black bean paste. So it is the best alternative to Kecap Manis.

2. COCONUT AMINOS – A Good Soy-Free Substitute for Kecap Manis

Coconut aminos are a good substitute for kecap manis because it has a similar taste and texture. It is also a healthful option for soy sauce because it is made from coconuts, a natural source of healthy vitamins and fats.

Coconut aminos are a good substitute for kecap manis

Coconut aminos are made of old coconut sap and sea salt. It is also less sweet than kecap manis, so it can be used in savory dishes as well. Coconut aminos are a fantastic way to add flavor to your food without using sugar.

It can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or stir-fry sauce. It is also an excellent alternative to soy sauce for those who are allergic to soy or who have sensitive stomachs.

3. WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE – Decent Replacement for Sweet Soy Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a fermented liquid condiment invented by two English chemists, John Wheeley Lea and William Perrins, in 1835.

WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE is a Decent Replacement for Sweet Soy Sauce

The recipe was originally intended to be used as a marinade for beef, but it was found to be too strong for that purpose. However, the chemists discovered that the sauce was perfect for adding flavor to food. It quickly became a popular condiment in England.

Today, Worcestershire sauce is used worldwide as a flavor enhancer for many different dishes. It is commonly used in Caesar salads, bloody marys, and steak sauces. Worcestershire sauce can also be used as a marinade for chicken or fish.

If you are searching to add a little extra flavor to your next dish, try using Worcestershire sauce. You’ll be glad you did!

4. Shōyu- Japanese Soy sauce

In much Asian cooking, you might find recipes that call for sweet soy sauce. However, if you can’t find any sweet soy sauce at your local store, don’t worry! You can easily substitute Japanese soy sauce, or shoyu, in its place.

Shōyu is a type of soy sauce that originates from Japan. It is made by fermenting soybeans, wheat, and salt. The resulting product is a dark brown liquid with a salty, umami flavor.

Shōyu is an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine and is used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or seasoning.

Shoyu is a kind of soy sauce that is made with both soybeans and wheat. It has a slightly sweeter taste than regular soy sauce, making it a good stand-in for sweet soy sauce.

To substitute shoyu for sweet soy sauce, simply use an equal amount of shoyu in place of the sweet soy sauce called for in the recipe.

Keep in mind that the final dish may be slightly saltier than if you had used sweet soy sauce, so you may want to adjust the other seasonings accordingly.

With these easy substitutions, you can easily make any recipe that calls for sweet soy sauce, even if you can’t find it at the store! Give it a try next time you are in the kitchen.

5. CHINESE DARK SOY SAUCE- Great Sweet Soy sauce alternative

In many Asian dishes, sweet soy sauce is used as a key ingredient to add flavor. However, few people may not have access to this type of soy sauce or may be looking for a healthier option.

CHINESE DARK SOY SAUCE is a Great Sweet Soy sauce alternative

In these cases, Chinese dark soy sauce can be used to substitute for sweet soy sauce. Check Best Substitute for Dark Soy sauce.

Chinese dark soy sauce is made from soybeans that have been fermented and then roasted. This process gives the sauce a deep, rich flavor that is perfect for adding depth to stir-fries, marinades, and sauces.

While it does not have the same sweetness as sweet soy sauce, Chinese dark soy sauce can still provide many of the same flavors to your dish.

6. Substitute THICK SOY SAUCE In The Place of Sweet Soy Sauce 

There’re different types of soy sauce available on the market, each with its own unique flavor. One type of soy sauce that is commonly used in Chinese cooking is called “thick soy sauce.”

Thick soy sauce is a variety of soy sauce that is thicker and sweeter than regular soy sauce. It is prepared by fermenting soybeans and wheat flour together and then adding caramel and other flavorings.

thick soy sauce is a excellent substitute for sweet soy sauce

While thick soy sauce can be used in place of kecap manis in many recipes, it is essential to remember that the flavors will be different.

Thick soy sauce is less sweet than sweet soy sauce, so it may not be suitable for all dishes. When substituting thick soy sauce for sweet one, start with half the amount and then adjust to taste.


1) Regular Soy Sauce+ Molaceses


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


In a little bowl, whisk together molasses, soy sauce, vegetable oil, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Freeze in an airtight jar for up to two weeks.

Use this sauce in place of regular soy sauce or sweet soy sauce in any recipe. It’s perfect for marinades, stir-fries, and dipping sauces.

2) Dark Soy Souce+ Brown Sugar

So, do you want to make a substitution for sweet soy sauce in a recipe?

Well, one option is to mix together dark soy sauce and brown sugar in a 1:1 ratio. This will give you an equal flavor profile to sweet soy sauce, with a little bit of added sweetness from the brown sugar.

Just be sure to mix the two ingredients together well before using them in your recipe.

3) Soy Sauce+ Jaggery

Jaggery is a conventional unrefined sugar made from the sap of various tropical plants. It’s deep brown in color and has a strong, molasses-like flavor. Jaggery is commonly used as a sweetener in Indian and Pakistani cuisine.

Soy sauce and jaggery can be used interchangeably in many recipes. When substituting jaggery for soy sauce, use a 1:1 ratio.

For example, instead of 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, use 1 tablespoon of jaggery. Keep in mind that jaggery is much sweeter than soy sauce, so you may require to alter the other ingredients in the recipe accordingly.

4) Plum Sauce + Light Soy Sauce

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to add some flavor to your food, then you should try substituting Plum Sauce + Light Soy Sauce.

·  This combination is perfect for stir-fries, marinades, and dipping sauces. Simply whisk together equal parts of each sauce, and you’re good to go!

If you want a little more sweetness in your sauce, then you can add a touch of honey or sugar. Try to add a pinch of chili flakes or ground ginger for a spicier sauce. Experiment and see what you like best!

5) Soy Sauce+ Honey or Maple Syrup

When it comes to finding a delicious soy sauce substitute, look no further than your pantry!

A mixture of soy sauce and honey or maple syrup makes for a perfect stand-in for sweet soy sauce.

Simply mix equivalent parts of each ingredient, and voila! You’ve got a wonderfully sweet and salty condiment that will enhance any dish.

This substitutes works especially well in Asian-inspired recipes, like stir-fries, marinades, and glazes.

But don’t be afraid to get creative. This soy sauce alternative would also be delicious on grilled meats or vegetables, used as a dipping sauce, or even added to soup or salad dressing for extra flavor.

So next time you’re out of sweet soy sauce, give this easy substitute a try. Your taste buds will thank you!

6) Tamari Sauce+ Molasses or Jaggery

Tamari sauce is suitable as a dipping sauce, marinade, or stir-fry seasoning. It is a gluten-free option to soy sauce.

Molasses have a deep, rich flavor and are used in baking and sweeteners in many dishes. Jaggery is a natural and healthy sweetener.

If you’re looking for a soy-free alternative to sweet soy sauce, mix them, They will add a similar sweetness and depth of flavor to the dish.

When substituting either one for sweet soy sauce, start with half the amount called for in the recipe and adjust to taste.

Read More- Best Substitute for Light Soy Sauce

What is the difference between soy sauce and Kecap Manis?

Soy sauce is a fermented product made from soybeans, wheat, and salt. Kecap manis is an Indonesian soy sauce that is sweetened with palm sugar and often contains other spices.

The two sauces are similar in taste and appearance, but the main difference is in their sweetness. 

Kecap manis is much sweeter than soy sauce, and it also has a thicker consistency. Additionally, Kecap manis is usually used as a condiment or dipping sauce. In contrast, soy sauce is often used as an ingredient in cooking.

Best Sweet Soy Sauce

There are many brands of sweet soy sauce available on the market. Some of the most popular yet best brands include

Wrap Up on substitutes for sweet soy sauce

Overall, soy sauce is an excellent substitute for sweet soy sauce. It has a similar taste and can be used in many of the same dishes.

If you’re searching for a healthfuller option, try coconut aminos, it is also soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.

You may also use Tianmian sauce with a similar taste profile to sweet soy sauce; if you’re living US or UK, then Worcestershire sauce will be a good choice to substitute sweet sauce.

Or, the best choice is to make your own sweet soy sauce and use them. Ultimately, it’s up to the cook to decide what will work best in their dish. Either way, you can’t go wrong with either of these replacements.

FAQs Related to Sweet Soy Sauce & Its Alternatives

Q1. What is kecap manis made of?

Kecap manis is made of soy sauce, sugar, and spices. It has a thick, syrupy consistency and a sweet-savory flavor.

Kecap manis is used as a condiment in Indonesian cooking, often added to dishes just before serving. It is also famous in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Q2. Is sweet soy sauce the same as Thai soy sauce?

No, sweet soy sauce is not the same as Thai soy sauce. Sweet soy sauce is made from a combination of soy sauce and sugar. Thai soy sauce, on the other hand, is made from a fermented mixture of salt, soybeans, and water.

While both sauces are used in Asian cuisine, they have different flavor profiles and should not be used interchangeably.

Q3. Can I use anything in place of soy sauce?

Yes, you can use tamari, liquid aminos, coconut aminos, and Worcestershire sauce in place of soy sauce. You can also use fish sauce, though it will change the flavor of the dish.

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