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Worcestershire Sauce vs Kecap Inggris | Indonesian Version of English Sauce

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If you’re planning on cooking up an Indonesian meal, you might come across a condiment called kecap Inggris.

Kecap Inggris is a dark, thick and sweet sauce, similar to the Worcestershire sauce we find in the west.

Despite their similarities, some key differences between these two sauces make them distinct for certain dishes.

Worcestershire Sauce vs Kecap Inggris | Indonesian Version of English Sauce

Kecap Inggris is the Indonesian name for Worcestershire sauce. Therefore, Worcestershire sauce and kecap inggris are the same things, but in different languages. However, there’s a slight difference in the Indonesian sauce because it doesn’t contain fish, and it’s halal.

Since both varieties of Worcestershire sauce have a savory and sour taste, they can be used in similar ways.

In this guide, we explain how these sauces differ and how they should be used!

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What does Kecap Inggris mean?

Kecap Inggris translates to “English sauce” in English and is a popular condiment in Indonesia.

It is a savory, slightly sweet sauce that adds flavor to many dishes.

Kecap Inggris is usually added as the finishing touch to a meal and can be used as a marinade or dipping sauce.

It has a pungent aroma and deep, rich flavor that makes it perfect for spicing up any dish.

It is not to be confused with kecap manis which is Indonesian sweet soy sauce.

What’s the difference between Kecap Inggris and Worcestershire sauce?

The main difference between Kecap Inggris and Worcestershire sauce is that the Indonesian verion is halal.

This means it does not contain any animal products and is suitable for consumption by those who follow the Islamic faith.

Kecap Inggris also does not contain fish, which is found in British and American Worcestershire sauce.

Kecap Inggris has a slightly sweeter taste than Worcestershire sauce, although both have a similar vinegar flavor and the same type of savoriness.

Ingredients

Worcestershire sauce from different manufacturers can vary slightly in ingredients as well, but the basic combination is usually the same:

  • anchovies
  • vinegar
  • garlic
  • onions
  • tamarind
  • molasses
  • various herbs and spices

However, the Indonesian version tends to be spicier and sweeter than its English counterpart.

Indonesian Worcestershire sauce is always halal (as opposed to English Worcestershire sauce) since the fish is only used for flavoring and not as an ingredient.

The main ingredients in kecap inggris are usually:

  • water
  • sugar
  • spices
  • salt
  • vinegar
  • caramel coloring
  • MSG
  • sodium benzoate preservative
  • acidity regulator

How is kecap inggris used?

English Worcestershire sauce is commonly used for BBQ marinades, Bloody Mary cocktails and Caesar salads.

It’s also used to flavor pot roast, add an umami taste to soups, stews, and gravies, and to add an extra kick of flavor to a roast.

Kecap Inggris, on the other hand, is used in a variety of Indonesian dishes like nasi goreng (fried rice), ayam bumbu rujak (spicy chicken) and sate ayam (chicken skewers).

Kecap inggris is a also common ingredient in ayam goreng, a deep-fried Indonesian chicken dash.

It is also used as a condiment for steamed or grilled fish and can be added to soups and stir-fries for extra flavor.

Soups like sayur lodeh, a vegetable-based soup with coconut milk, and tahu telur (tofu omelette) all benefit from a dash of kecap inggris.

Just like Worcestershire sauce, Kecap inggris is especially useful when it comes to marinating meats; its savory flavor helps add complexity to the dish.

It is also a fantastic addition to sauces and salad dressings, as its sweetness helps balance out the other flavors.

Finally, kecap inggris can be used as a dipping sauce or basting glaze. Its sweet and savory flavor adds depth to grilled meats and vegetables.

Overall, Worcestershire sauce and Kecap Inggris are essentially the same thing in different languages but Worcestershire sauce from the West usually contains anchovies.

Takeaway

Kecap Inggris and Worcestershire sauce are two very similar types of sauce with one major difference: the version from Indonesia is not made with fermented fish.

Kecap Inggris is a savory and sweet condiment with a pungent aroma that can be used to add flavor to Indonesian dishes.

It is also an excellent marinade and a fantastic addition to sauces and salad dressings.

When deciding whether to buy English-style Worcestershire sauce or Kecap Inggris, consider if your recipe calls for fish and what type of flavor you are looking to achieve.

Read next: Do the Japanese use fish sauce? This is how they get their own flavor

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.