Kecap Manis Grilled Chicken and Fresh Pineapple Kabobs

One of the best kept secrets – EVER! Kecap manis.

Kecap manis? What in the world!? No, no, it’s not some newly diagnosed psychological disorder, I promise! But I truly believe it is one of the best kept secrets out there.

Kecap Manis is an Indonesian soy sauce, totally unique from what we Westerners think of as soy sauce; it’s salty-sweet, caramely and syrupy with hints of garlic and spice. I use it often as a marinade, glaze, dipping sauce or gourmet drizzle. No one knows, (except you, now!) that it comes straight from a bottle with perhaps just a squeeze of fresh lime juice,  a splash of olive or sesame oil, maybe a drizzle of Sriracha or a spoonful of orange marmalade. Guests beg for “just a bit more” of the sauce and my husband sometimes describes it as “candy”.

You’ll most likely have to visit an Asian or Oriental store to find the stuff and considering the maze of soy sauces you’ll find there (sometimes a whole aisle!), you might have to ask the clerk to help you find it. (Write the name down right now, on a slip of paper – when you’re out and you spot an Asian market, SLAM on the brakes, run on in and pick up a bottle of this magical elixir! (If you live in a area with no Asian markets nearby, you can also find keycap manis online.) You’ll be so happy with yourself and so will your family/friends when you grill up these fabulous Kecap Manis Grilled Chicken & Fresh Pineapple Kabobs.


P.S. Shhhhhh, let’s just keep this a little secret between you and me. Everyone will think we’re culinary geniuses after taking one bite of these delicious kabobs! 🙂

Kecap Manis Grilled Chicken and Fresh Pineapple Kabobs

8 9-inch wooden skewers
½ cup kecap manis
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 cups 1-inch pieces fresh pineapple

1. Add about a cup of water to a gallon size zip lock bag. Place wooden skewers in bag to soak for at least 1 hour before grilling. This will prevent skewers from charring on the grill.

2. In a medium saucepan whisk together the kecap manis, marmalade and olive oil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until slightly reduced. Add fresh lime juice and allow to cool slightly while preparing chicken.

3. Combine lemon pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat chicken with the oil mixture.

4. Prepare a medium fire in a grill or heat a gas grill to medium high.5. Thread the chicken and pineapple pieces onto alternately skewers and discard the excess marinade. Lightly oil the grill grates. Place the kabobs on the grill, cover, and cook until the chicken is almost done, about 4 minutes per side. Brush liberally with kecap manis mixture and contintue to grill a few more minutes or until sauce begins to caramelize a bit. Watch carefully at this point as the sweet sauce can burn quite quickly. Transfer to a warmed platter and serve immediately. I like to serve this delicious chicken with steamed jasmine rice and grilled peppers and onions.


24 thoughts on “Kecap Manis Grilled Chicken and Fresh Pineapple Kabobs”

  • Found the Kecap Manis!!!! D you think it would work well on pork too? Was going to make the kebabs tonight and have a pork loin…don’t feel like running to the store for chicken.

  • I just found kecap manis during the week end, I went to Montreal! So, tonight, I’m going to test this recipe, I’m so happy, it looks so good!

  • Chris, I have been away from blogging for a bit now, and I am so overwhelmed by the deliciousness I’ve missed on your blog! So many awesome recipe! This one sounds incredible! Love the flavors and I think everyone in my family will love this! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • A good quality dark soy (especially the Japanese ‘Tamari’ variety) mixed with sugar (and maybe a small dash of rice wine) makes a good substitute for Kecap Manis if you can’t find any…

  • I have never heard of kecap manis and now you have me hungry for it. With all the grilling coming up this summer this sounds like a great addition to our list of favorite sauces. Yummy post.

  • This looks really flavorful. I have always loved soy sauce, but I thought there are just but 2-3 varieties. I never thought I’ll have like several to choose from when buying soy sauce. I normally use Chinese soy sauce but I will be searching for this kecap Manis that you have mentioned. Thanks!

  • Now I know what I’m cooking this long weekend Chris. They look amazing, thank you for sharing, I’m sure we are going to love it!

  • Your kebab is really delicious looking! Believe me, I’ve never tried cooking with kicap manis but hv eaten dishes with kicap manis from a food outlet here, it’s very tasty!

  • It’s not the first time someone is telling me about kecap manis… I WILL have to stop at a big asian market on my way back home friday! The kebabs looks pretty amazing and I will cook these this week-end!!!

  • OK, that’s it! You need to publish a cookbook! Or maybe, being fairly new here, I might be behind the times – have you published a cookbook? You are the best!

  • How perfectly delicious this looks. I can’t wait to get to myu Oriental grocery store. Gigi, who owns it, is always so helpful with recipes and way to cook different things. She also suggests teas for different ailments. When does that store open?!!!!

  • Kecap manis is one of my favorite sauce! I had an Indonesian friend back then who taught me this sauce and some recipes. I got so addicted to this. So I know how delicious these kabobs are! YUM!!!

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