|Alternative names||Babi ketjap (Dutch dialect)|
|Place of origin||Indonesia|
|Created by||Chinese Indonesian|
|Main ingredients||Pork and vegetables simmered in kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) spiced with garlic and shallot|
Babi kecap is an Indonesian braised pork with sweet soy sauce (kecap manis). It is one of Chinese Indonesian classics, due to its simplicity which lend to its popularity among Chinese Indonesians households, and also popular among non-Muslim Indonesians, such as Balinese, Batak and Minahasan. It is also popular in the Netherlands as babi ketjap, owing to shared colonial ties with Indonesia. In the Netherlands, the dish might also be served within an opulent rijsttafel banquet.
The dish is believed to be based on Southern Chinese braised pork in soy sauce. However, it is more Indonesian in nature, because of the mild sweetness introduced by Indonesian kecap manis (sweet soy sauce). It is sometimes prepared with a sweet chili sauce.
The basic Chinese Indonesian recipe, common in their household, usually uses simple essential ingredients, which are cuts of pork belly simmered with sweet soy sauce, spiced with garlic, shallot or onion, and a dash of salt. The popular recipes employed elsewhere — from Chinatowns' restaurants in Indonesia, to Bali and the Netherlands, uses richer spices, which might add lemongrass, ginger, tomato, shrimp paste, salam leaf (Indonesian bay leaf), white pepper and red chilies. If sweet soy sauce was not available, it can be substituted with common soy sauce added with ground palm sugar or brown sugar. Less hot and spicy sweet pepper might be used to replace common red chilies.
Pork belly is usually a preferred part to be used as main ingredient for babi kecap. However, another parts of pork — either meats or offals, might also be used in almost identical soy sauce-based recipes, which might lead to another derivative dishes. Sengkel babi kecap uses pig trotters, while sekba is Chinese Indonesian pork offals stew in soy sauce, which might uses pork liver, nose, tongue, ear, tripes and intestines.
It is very similar to other Indonesian favourite semur daging, although semur is usually beef-based, mixed with potatoes and employed slightly different spices. The chicken variant is called ayam kecap.
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- Various Babi Kecap recipes (in Indonesian)