Thursday, November 19, 2009

XO Sauce

What is XO sauce? XO sauce is a spicy seafood sauce origin from Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine. It is made from dry scallop; dry shrimps, ham, chilies, shallots and garlic are cooked over medium heat for some time. It’s spicy, salty and sweet and if you’re a chili lover, you’ll find this sauce irresistible. XO sauce is also known as the ‘Caviar of the Orient’ is an essential flavor enhancer and a condiment. Not may people make this sauce as home as it is tedious and time consuming and it is easier to just head out to the Asian supermarket to buy one. I made this because I think it cost too much at the store. A tiny little bottle cost like $6.00. Since I have all the ingredients at home I tried making this at home. This sauce is very versatile. You can use it as dipping sauce or add it into your cooking or just eat it with rice or noodles.

By looking the all the ingredients I am sure you know how this sauce will smell like. I bought an electrical skillet just to cook this outside the deck. I don’t think Carlos can tolerate the pungent smell that will lingers around for days ha ha... I want to cook this sauce for a longer period of time but the smell attracts a huge swarm of flies to the deck and it was freaking me out. So I cut short the cooking time but nevertheless it still taste really good.

I was warming up the XO sauce in the microwave to eat it with my noodles and guess what my husband said. He said it smells so bad that he ran and hides in our computer room and he stays there for hours until the smell disappeared. He said I’ve cooked food that smells funky but this one takes the cake. To me it smells so good just like what his said about his stinky cheese ha ha… Since some of you request for the recipe so here it is. I hope you enjoy cooking and eating this great sauce


10 fresh red chilies
15 dried chilies – soak in hot water
200g dried scallops – soak overnight until soft
2 head of garlic - peeled
10 shallots - peeled
200g dried shrimp – soak in hot water until soft
150g Chinese ham –I used the normal supermarket ham
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp sugar
½ tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
Salt to taste

1. Drain scallops, tear them into find shreds, pat it dry on paper towel and set it aside. Drain .dry shrimps and chopped if finely and set it aside.
2. Put the shallots in food processor and chop it finely. Do the same to the garlic too, remove and set it aside.
3. Remove the steam and seeds of the fresh chilies and dry chilies. Chopped it finely in the food processor and set it aside. Next chopped the ham and set it aside.
4. Heat up about a cup of vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok over medium high heat. Add in scallops and frying it until crispy and lightly brown. Remove and set it aside. In the same oil, add in garlic, shallots and dried prawns. Stir constantly and cook until lightly brown.
5. Add in ham, and chilies. Lower down the heat and continue to fry for another 10 minutes. Add more oil if necessary. Stir constantly as it may burn easily.
6. Add in the oyster sauce, sugar, salt and pepper and lastly add in the fried scallops. Continue stir fry until it is completely dry. Remove from heat and let it cool. Transfer to sterile jar and keep in the refrigerator.


Karine said...

I believe your dish sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

Angie's Recipes said...

I love XO works like a charm with any stir-fry!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

I like this, because spicy, hehehe..This must full of flavours by look at the ingredients, I must must try this..Anyway, Thanks for kind sharing. let me copy down the recipe now..

Quinn said...

Whta's Chinese ham? The last time I asked the owner of asian groceries for stuffs in english, he gave me some weird not-quite-what-i-want ingredient!

Christelle said...

Great idea, the sauce looks good, and you know it's healthier than the bought one. I don't know if I'll have time to do it, but I hope i will! :)

Noob Cook said...

I looveee xo sauce! you have so many recipes that I wanna try :)

mycookinghut said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe.. I believe if I make it at home, my other will also complain about the smell.. but I will be like you, saying it smells good :)

Beachlover said...

Gert,you so rajin make your own XO sauce why Carlos run away? I didn't see you add any belacan or "ham har sauce"! I bet this Xo sauce must taste great wt so much "hor lui"!

Bits said...

I heard of XO sauce many years ago but haven't give it a try yet. Thanks for the recipe!

Charmaine said...

Had to laugh when I read the bit about Carlos hiding in the computer room. That's what my hubby does when I cook assam laksa. I can imagine he will do the same with this XO sauce too. They don't know what they are missing.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

So cute your anecdote about Carlos :) But actually, looking at the ingredients, there is no pungent item such a belacan. How come he couldn't tahan the smell? Oh well, I am Asian, after all. I shouldn't comment ;P

ICook4Fun said...

Karine, thanks for stopping by.

Angie, yes, now I used it in my stir-fry vegetables.

Sonia, if you like it more spicy add more chili to it.

Quinn, Chinese ham is called Jinhua Ham but if you can't find it you can use any ham or prosciutto.

Christelle, yes without all the presavatives.

Noobcook, hope you like this one.

Leemei, with the combinations of scallops and udang kering you can imagine the smell when I cook this ha ha..

Lesley, do't you think the scallops and dried shrimps smell is too strong for a mat salleh ha ha..

Bit of taste, you are welcome.

Charmaine, Oh you should see his face when he smell this. He even spray the whole house with fresherner ha ha..

Little Teochew, to us it smells good for to him it smell like Bakala just like our ikan masin ha ha..

Little Corner of Mine said...

As you know, I loved XO sauce. Now I am curious as the XO sauce my friend gave me was dark red in color, I wonder what made her color like it, do you think because she fried it for a very long time? I know she omitted the ham. Hmmm... Or she added some dark soy sauce?

Tricia said...

Hmmm...nice thing too cook when you have nasty mat salleh neighbors!!! LOL!!!

I love XO sauce ... like many of your readers, haven't tried making it on our own yet.

This will have to wait till spring comes ... when we can open all doors and windows!!! LOL!!

ICook4Fun said...

LCOM, it will get darker when you cook it longer. There are some people to put belachan in it too so that might be the reason it's much darker.

Tracia, I cooked it at the deck and I am sure some of my mat salleh neighbor smells it. I wonder what goes in their mind. Good thing they didn't call the police ha ha..

Elin Chia said...

Gert, haha I am laughing just reading your post. Your XO sauce and the stinky cheese ! :)

ann low said...

Haha...I like this! Can eat with rice, fried rice or cook with vegetables.

A Full-Timed Housefly said...

Can I order a carton pls ? I want special 加料 ok !

Zurin said...

That looks so good !! I can just imagine what is smells and tastes like .MMMMMMMMMMM....

ICook4Fun said...

Elin, I love this better than the stinky cheese :)

Anncoo, yes this sauce is very versatile.

Full-timed Housefly, wah, one carton. That is a lot ha ha

Zurin, very pungent smell ha ha

Food For Tots said...

Tks for your kind sharing. I had bookmarked this great recipe.

coffeesncookies said...

I love all things stinky, har cheong, belacan, har mai. etc. Looks yummy but expensive to make ya ? It's in my to-do list.. but dunno when..

Jessica604 said...

Oooh! Thank you for the recipe!
I'm going to have to try this out and also give away some to (select few) relatives for Christmas gifts. Now *there's* a gift that won't be tossed aside!

Jessica604 said...

A question - how much does one recipe make?

ICook4Fun said...

Food for tots, you are welcome.

Coffeencookies, me too :) The stinkierr the better ha ha.. Yea the scallops is expensive.

Jessica, yes this is great as gift. You can get about 3 10 oz jar out of it.