Pork in Sweet Soy Sauce (Be Celeng Base Manis)

Name: Silvia Maulini*
Class Year: 1980
Country of Residence: The Netherlands

* Silvia is one of this competition’s judges, so this recipe will not be considered – it’s simply delicious, and needs to be shared!

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

For the past decade I have been spending a month a year on the wonderful island of Bali, in Indonesia.  Local food is absolutely amazing and after following a few cooking classes there and buying several cookbooks I started experimenting at home. The house smells wonderful when I cook Indonesian and I feel I am back in Bali, at least for a few hours. This recipe is easy and very satisfying. I tasted this stew for the first time at “Bumbu Bali”, a fantastic restaurant owned by Swiss chef Heinz van Holzen, who has been living on the island for four decades and who is considered a master of Balinese cuisine. 

We cooked this stew during one of our alumnae cooking workshops in the Netherlands two years ago and we served it with some steamed white rice and a some Atjar Tjampoer (see recipe from Georgia Regnault ’64 in this blog)  Delicious!

Pork in Sweet Soy Sauce (Be Celeng Base Manis)

Serves 4-6 portions. Takes approx. 1.5 hours.


  • 2 Tbsp   Coconut oil
  • 70 g       Shallots (peeled and sliced)
  • 40 g       Garlic (peeled and sliced)
  • 800 g     Pork shoulder or neck (cut in 2 cm cubes)
  • 50 g       Ginger (peeled and sliced)
  • 4 Tbsp   Sweet soy sauce (ketjap manis)
  • 2 Tbsp  Light soy sauce
  • 2-3         Peppercorns (crushed)
  • 1 liter    Chicken stock (ca.)
  • 6-10       Large red chilies (whole or halved if very large)


Heat the coconut oil in a heavy saucepan. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat or until lightly colored.  Add pork and ginger and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes over medium heat. Add sweet and light soy sauces and pepper. Continue to sauté for 1 more minute.

Pour in half of the chicken stock, add chilies and simmer for approximately 1 hour. Gradually add more stock, as liquid evaporates. Keep the liquid to an absolute minimum and do not cover the saucepan during the cooking process. This will guarantee a lovely dark brown stew, with a shiny sauce.

Serve the stew with steamed white rice and a spoonful of Atjar Tjampoer.


Bali Unveiled – Heinz van Holzen, 2004

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