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Get your hands on Marion's NEW cookbook, Always Delicious. Shop now (we ship worldwide!)

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How To Make XO Sauce

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The condiment you can’t live without: XO sauce is where it’s at, my friends! This is the ultimate companion to anything and everything you make, from eggs and fried rice to soups and noodles. 

WATCH THIS RECIPE

HOW TO MAKE XO SAUCE

PREP TIME

10 minutes + overnight soaking

COOK TIME

40 minutes

SERVES

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

60g dried scallops*  

60g dried shrimp* 

1/4 cup Shaoxing wine 

1 cup vegetable oil 

1 thick rasher (about 70g) smoked bacon, cut into thin strips 

6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 

6 small Asian red shallots, roughly chopped 

3 long fresh red chillies 

1 tbsp oyster sauce 

1 tbsp light soy sauce  

2 tsp dark soy sauce   

1 tbsp brown sugar 

1 tsp good quality chilli powder, or to taste 

Steps

Place the scallops and the prawns in separate bowls. Pour 1 tablespoon of shaoxing into each bowl. Pour in enough water to cover. Place in the fridge overnight. 

Reserve ½ cup of the scallop soaking water. Then drain the scallops, leaving 2 tablespoons of the soaking water. Cover and microwave for 3 minutes. Transfer scallops and liquid into a food processor and pulse until coarsely shredded. Return to the bowl. Drain the shrimps and pulse in the food processor until finely chopped. return to the bowl. 

Process the garlic, shallot and chilli a food processer until finely chopped. 

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Cook the bacon, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until starting to crisp. Add the scallops and cook, stirring often for 4 minutes or until crisp. Add the prawns and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic mixture and cook for 3-5 minutes or until aromatic. 

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Add the reserved soaking liquid, oyster and soy sauces, brown sugar, chilli powder and remaining tablespoon of Shaoxing. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often, or until the mixture is dark and jammy. Pour into a sterilised jar and store in the fridge.

Note Icon

Notes:

– Dried scallops, also known as conpoy, are a very special ingredient in Chinese cooking. It’s best to buy the larger ones available in herbal shops or specialty Asian stores. They need to be soaked and/or steamed. 

– It is better to buy the more expensive larger dried shrimp. 

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