Jan 28, 2013

Babi Ketjap

Babi Ketjap

Babi Ketjap (kecap) is a typically Indonesian dish: pork simmered in a sweet soy sauce. You can cook this with various types of pork. Whatever you have in your freezer is fair game: pork belly, pork legs, pork steaks. Choices, choices!

This recipe belongs to my grandma. Back in those days it was hard (at least in the Netherlands) to get your hands on ingredients like fresh ginger, that’s one of the main reasons my recipe uses ginger confit; to me it’s the real Babi Ketjap, but it can easily be replaced.

What I like best about this recipe—other than that it’s a major trip down memory lane—is that it’s exotic enough to feel like you’re eating something special, but so simple it borders on cupboard cooking.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound pork steaks
1 large onion (or 2 small ones)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 to 1 chili pepper
2 pieces ginger confit (or a thumb size piece fresh ginger, grated)
1/2 cup ketjap (sweet soy sauce)
6 tbsp chicken broth
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
pinch of pepper

 

Directions:

These little balls are the ginger confit I was talking about. I use two of them. Feel free to replace them with fresh ginger.
Babi Ketjap

Finely mince the ginger confit, onion, chill pepper (I used half) and garlic cloves.
Babi Ketjap

Grab a big bowl and combine the ketjap with the tamarind paste.
Babi Ketjap

Add the lime juice, brown sugar, chicken broth and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Babi Ketjap

I opted for pork steaks.
Babi Ketjap

Coarsely slice them.
Babi Ketjap

And season them with the salt, pepper, ground ginger, cumin and coriander. Do the hustle… and let it soak up the flavours.
Babi Ketjap

 
You need to be able to keep all the liquid and moisture inside the pan, so it’s best to use a Dutch oven. Or any kind of thick-bottomed pan with a tight-fitting lid.
 

Heat the oil and quickly brown the pork. And I mean quickly.
Babi Ketjap

Add the onion and cook it for 2 minutes before adding the chill pepper, ginger and garlic. Give it one more minute.
Babi Ketjap

 
There should be some serious flavours going on in your kitchen now. The kind that will stop people dead in their tracks and make them take a whiff.
 

Pour in the ketjap mixture and, well, that was about all the hard labor there is in making this.
Babi Ketjap

Bring it to a boil and simmer the pork over very low heat for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the liquid, we need sauce!
Babi Ketjap

The ketjap will turn the pork beautifully brown.
Babi Ketjap

See, all the liquid is still in there. I add a tbsp cornstarch that I mixed with 2 tbsp broth, stir it in and let it simmer for 2 more minutes.
Babi Ketjap

Spoon some rice in a pretty bowl. Top with steamed paksoi, Chinese cabbage or whatever makes your skirt fly up.
Babi Ketjap

Spoon some of the sauce on top of the pork…
Babi Ketjap

Garnish with thinly sliced chill pepper and spring onions. It looks fun.
Babi Ketjap

There. Sweet porky love in a bowl.
Babi Ketjap

(Let me save you an email: bought the cute bowls at Foodelicious)

Babi Ketjap
Ingredients
    1 1/2 pound pork steaks
    1 large onion (or 2 small ones)
    3 garlic cloves
    1/2 to 1 chili pepper
    2 pieces ginger confit (or a thumb size piece fresh ginger, grated)
    1/2 cup ketjap (sweet soy sauce)
    6 tbsp chicken broth
    2 tbsp brown sugar
    2 tsp tamarind paste
    2 tbsp lime juice
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/2 tsp ground coriander
    1/4 tsp ground cumin
    2 tbsp peanut oil
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    pinch of pepper

Directions
    Finely mince the ginger confit, onion, chill pepper (I used half) and garlic cloves. Use a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger if you can’t find ginger confit.

    In a bowl you combine the ketjap, tamarind paste, lime juice, brown sugar and chicken broth. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Coarsely slice the pork steaks and season them with the kosher salt, pepper, ground ginger, ground cumin and ground coriander.

    You need to be able to keep all the liquid and moisture inside the pan, so it’s best to use a Dutch oven. Or any kind of thick-bottomed pan with a tight-fitting lid.

    Heat the oil and quickly brown the pork. Add the onion, cook for 2 minutes and add the chill pepper, garlic and ginger. Give it another minute before pouring in the ketjap mixture. Bring it to a boil and simmer the pork over very low heat for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the liquid!

    Mix 1 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp broth, stir well and pour it into the cooking liquid. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Serve with white rice and steamed paksoi or cabbage.

Meal type: Main course, Pork, Indonesian
Servings: 4
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com

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    30 Comments »

    1. 1

      I have always stuck to my mom’s recipe, but I am definitely going to try this version.

      Pat on Jan 28, 2013 @ 11:44 am Reply
      1. Same for me. When it comes to Indonesian food, I always stick to the family recipes.

        Kay on Jan 28, 2013 @ 11:46 am Reply
    2. 2

      Good one Kay! I’ll put it on my ‘to cook’ list :)

      Ellen on Jan 28, 2013 @ 11:57 am Reply
    3. 3

      Kay…………good memories from when I lived in Hong Kong and ate at many Indonesian restaurants.
      BTW what English speaking country had you lived in before Holland. Your English is very good  to be your second language.
      This will go on the dinner menu some evening this week. Joe
       
       
       
       

      Joe on Jan 28, 2013 @ 3:28 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Ah, I have these bowls (or, at least the one with the green pattern). Couldn’t resist when I came across them at the Urban Outfitter store in Berlin :). 
      Anyways, I love your Indonesian recipes, and thank you for another one. Will try soon.

      Inge on Jan 28, 2013 @ 5:39 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Delicious

      Arrisje on Jan 28, 2013 @ 6:59 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Ooo, I can’t wait to try this!  I just got some pork on sale, and I was wondering what to do with it – now I know!
       
      (LOVE your blog, by the way!)

      Rachel on Jan 29, 2013 @ 3:34 am Reply
    7. 7

      Yum! This definitely reminds me of home.

      Linda | The Urban Mrs on Jan 29, 2013 @ 7:09 am Reply
    8. 8

      If I make this the meat is always dry and not tender. How do I get tender meat. I use Gammon steak.

      charlotte on Jan 29, 2013 @ 1:12 pm Reply
      1. I have absolutely no idea what gammon steak is. Hope someone else can help you, but maybe you’re just overcooking it?

        Kay on Jan 29, 2013 @ 1:22 pm Reply
    9. 9

      I thought that Gammon steaks are hamlappen sorry my mistake. I don’t think i overcook the meat. I simmer it for just about 30 minutes on low heat.

      Charlotte on Jan 29, 2013 @ 1:57 pm Reply
      1. It depends on how long you brown them. It even depends on where you buy them, I buy them only at the butcher shop with the rind on and have no problems whatsoever, they become tender and succulent. If I buy at them at the supermarket they dry out in no time.

        Kay on Jan 29, 2013 @ 2:00 pm Reply
    10. 10

      I think you are right.  I have not made this for a long time but next time i will buy the pork at the butcher instead of the supermarket. It  will make a whole lot of diffrence.

      Charlotte on Jan 29, 2013 @ 2:16 pm Reply
    11. 11

      I made your sauerkraut/sausage/potato recipe, delicious.  It reminded my husband of weiners and sauerkraut his Mom used to make when he was a kid, but better!
      Regarding ketjap:  I am in Bonaire and we have all the Dutch products at the store.  Do you know if ketjap contains gluten?  I have celiac disease and have to eat gluten free.  Most soy sauce in the U.S. contain wheat. 
      Also, what is tamarind paste called in Dutch?

      Kathy Walker on Jan 29, 2013 @ 3:14 pm Reply
    12. 12

      kathy Tamarind is called tamarinde(almost de same) in Dutch. If you can find it under that name maybe you can find it under the Indonesian name. In Indonesie they call it asem.
       

      Charlotte on Jan 29, 2013 @ 3:38 pm Reply
    13. 13

      This looks amazing!!!!

      Tammi on Jan 29, 2013 @ 4:51 pm Reply
    14. 14

      That looks tasty! I have been meaning to try ketjap!

      Kevin @ Closet Cooking on Jan 31, 2013 @ 1:16 am Reply
    15. 15

      Have made your recipe and blogged about it.
      It was a great success!

      http://www.family-oosten.com/blog/2013/02/01/kayleighs-babi-ketjap/

      PaulO on Feb 1, 2013 @ 3:52 pm Reply
    16. 16

      I made this dish and I have to confess that I over-cooked the pork while browning it. (Kay, when you said “Quickly brown the pork. And I mean quickly”, you certainly did!). When you brown pork pieces there is a point soon reached when the pieces look swollen and juicy and you do not want to fry them any longer because three seconds later the juice is out of the pork pieces and in the pan, and you end up stewing the pork, not frying it. However, the sauce was nothing short of sensational so I am going to try this recipe again, and get the pork right!

      Stephanie (New Zealand) on Feb 3, 2013 @ 8:45 am Reply
      1. I know that exact point you’re talking about. I like pork, a lot, but it’s so unforgiving because it’s way too easy to overcook it.

        Kay on Feb 3, 2013 @ 8:49 am Reply
    17. 17

      This recipe and website look greet. I’m going to give this one a try this week. Thanks for sharing

      Jeroen on Feb 22, 2013 @ 10:40 pm Reply
    18. 18

      Why can’t we pin the images on your site?  It would bring a lot of new visitors to your site, because your recipes and photos are great!

      amy on Mar 8, 2013 @ 10:55 pm Reply
      1. You can. There’s a ‘pin this’ button right below every recipe. 

        Kay on Mar 8, 2013 @ 10:56 pm Reply
    19. 19

      Hello Kay,
       
      What a great site! I love it. It must be the combination of your passion,good recipes and beautiful pictures that does the trick. I’ve made this recipe yesterday with porkbelly and it was a succes!
       
      Groetjes uit Den Haag,
       
      Ment

      Ment on Mar 21, 2013 @ 5:51 pm Reply
    20. 20

      hi there, found your website by accident while browsing recipes for my picky-eater son :)
      i’m Indonesian, by the way, and love how you still uses the old spelling for the name.
      it gives such an antiquity to the recipe :)

      ancella on Jul 5, 2013 @ 1:44 pm Reply
      1. Actually, that’s the spelling as it’s still used in the Netherlands!!

        Kay on Jul 5, 2013 @ 1:46 pm Reply
    21. 21

      ahh… i see :) we uses new spelling nowadays. great job on the recipes. all look yummy and simple enough. keep the deliciousness coming ;)
       
       

      ancella on Jul 5, 2013 @ 2:26 pm Reply
      1. Ancella, just curious: what would it be in the new spelling?

        PaulO on Jul 5, 2013 @ 5:43 pm Reply
        1. Ketjap is the old spelling. Kecap is the new spelling.

          Kay on Jul 5, 2013 @ 5:54 pm Reply
    22. 22

      It’s great to see this recipe when you are far away from home. I am Indonesian and I’m glad someone like you post this recipe so I can cook the dish to feel I’m at home. Anyway, where did you learn all this recipe?
       

      inez on Oct 14, 2013 @ 7:12 pm Reply

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