Friday, December 22, 2006

XO Sauce Winnie

I have always eyed the bottled of XO sauce on the shelf which is so tiny and costed an arm and a leg. My dear friend, Winnie, gave me this recipe and i tried it and liked it so much that i had to post and share with everyone. Thank you, Winnie

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Dried scallops
Dried shrimp
Smithfield country ham (or any dried cured ham)
Fresh red chili (I used red jalapenos)
Red chili powder (I use sweet paprika for color)
Sake (Japanese rice wine)
Kosher salt
Canola oil for cooking (some people use olive oil, i used soyabean cooking oil)


1. Rinse dried scallops and shrimp. Coarsely dice shrimp and break up scallops.

2. Cover scallops and shrimp with sake. Microwave one minute to cook and soften the mixture . (do not boil). Let the sea foods cool off and leave in refrigerator for up to 1 week before making the sauce.

3. Finely chop the country ham in the food proccessor, set aside.

4. Drain liquid from the scallops and shrimp if there’s any left, they should absorbed all the sake by now. Using a food proccessor, chop the scallops and shrimp into smaller pieces .

5. Slightly cut up fresh chili and shallots. Put the vegetables and salt into a food processor and pulse few times to chop up the vegetables.

6. Heat a wok with lots of oil, Fry the ham, dried shrimp and scallops until crispy.  Then stir fry the 
chili mixture until fragrant and shallots are thoroughly cooked.

7. Add seafood and ham mixture and red chilli pepper powder or paprika into the wok, add more oil if needed, and stir fry at medium low until the sauce bubbles. Add kosher salt for taste. Keep cooking for a minute or two. Remove from heat and let the sauce cool off.

Optional: Add soy sauce and oyster sauce to the mixture if you wish, but the xo sauce will be a brown color instead of red.

Winnie's Note:

I did not give any measurement for the ingredients because I never measured when I cook; I just “eye ball” them. This is like making hot chili sauce, how much of each ingredient one puts into the sauce is personal preference.



Winnie said...


Glad you like the sauce.

Anonymous said...

thank you to u and ur friend winnie for this recipe.. I love XO sauce

Anonymous said...

I found your blog and loved all the recipes you've posted. What would you use XOs sauce for? I bought a bottle from the oriental supermarket but didnt know what else to do with it except as a dip.

lilyng said...


you could use it as a sauce for about any vegetables or meat dishes. I love to fry or 'loh' noodles with it.

張如意 said...

Dear Auntie Lily and Winnie

Thank you so much for this recipe. I used to be able to get XO sauce from HK but not nowadays! Hence, I have to make my own XO sauce. Thank you again. Ruyi

sandra said...

lily (or winnie), can u suggest a few simple recipes using XO sauce?

honestly, i don rememeber trying any dishes with XO sauce, but i have a bottle at home, waiting to be used.. and since i dont know what it tastes like, i cant think of how i can cook with it..

lilyng said...


i use the sauce for stir fry or as a condiment for noodles

sarah_apple said...

I tried eating it with fried eggs and it is really nice!!

Regina said...

I added minced garlic and used the lean meat of bacon instead of ham. Your method is simpler than mine, will try next time. XO sauce is truly an all-purpose sauce, almost like "hey bee hiam" (hokkien-- spicy ground dried shrimp)-- I love it just with white rice or with chee jong fun (steamed rice rolls).

Julia said...

I've often seen XO sauce on restaurant menus and assumed it referred to brandy. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Ann said...

I am interested in trying the recipe. How long would the sauce keep?

lilyng said...


like any homemade sauce, they have to be kept in the fridge and if you do not double dip, it can be kept for a long time.

Shirley said...

Thanks, Lily & Winnie for the recipe. Will give it a try as we love XO sauce & it costs an arm & a leg.

Can I use brandy to soak the scallops/prawns instead of sake? Don't wanna buy 1 bottle just for this.

Do you think it can survive the journey from Malaysia to Australia? Scared it will get mouldy as I will put it in the fridge after making & then take out to bring over to Australia.


lilyng said...


absolutely, brandy will do or shaoxing wine which is less expensive. Incidently, a relative will be visiting malaysia soon and would bring some of this xo sauce for her family. I would suggest that the shallots and the chillies be fried thoroughly and use alot of oil. You must have at least 1/3 - 1/2 inch of oil on the surface of the sauce,covering the whole surface, this way, the sauce can be kept without getting moldy. It will survive the journey if cooked thoroughly and cooled before packing. Have a great time in Australia

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