home-made XO sauce

This is another recipe I have been wanting to post for like, yes, forever!

I use XO sauce quite a bit. While I like stir-fried vegetables (and cook them a lot), I find stir-fried vegetables quite boring at times. But when XO sauce is added to the stir-fried vegetables (or meat), it adds another dimension to the dish!

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This recipe was shared by Mary, a lovely lady who cooks all sorts of delectable dishes! She is generous with her sharing and I have learnt so much from her! This particular recipe was given to her by a famous chef, and she so kindly shared it when asked. 

I am a huge believer in the sharing of recipes. Only when recipes are shared then can they be passed on from one generation to the next. 

XO sauce is a sauce that originated from Hong Kong. It is made of with chopped dried seafood, including scallops, dried fish and shrimp, and subsequently cooked with chili peppers, onions, and garlic. (Source: Wikipedia)

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XO sauces are usually added to other dishes to enhance their flavors. One dish I recently shared is this XO Sauce Chili Clams, which is totally yummy! As you can see, XO sauces pair beautifully with seafood too.

The draw-back about XO sauce is that it is very expensive. A small jar can easily cost $20. So it is a great idea to make it at home. This recipe makes a huge jar of XO sauce which can be kept in the fridge or freezer and used over quite a long period of time.

Let me show you how to cook this.

Soak the dried prawns in 360ml of water (room temperature) for about 15-20 minutes to soften. Drain and reserve the water. Process the dried prawns (not too finely) in a blender. Set aside. 

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Steam the scallops until soft. When cooled, use your fingers to shred the scallops.

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In the same blender, process the garlic, shallots and candelnuts until fine.IMG_6885IMG_6889

Add the rehydrated dried chili and process until well-blended.

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In a heated wok, add 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the dried prawns and shredded scallops and fry for 2 minutes. Remove from the wok and set aside.

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In the same wok, add another 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the spice paste and fry until fragrant.

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Return the dried prawns and scallops into the wok.

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Continue cooking for about 3-4 minutes, until fragrant.

Add the reserved water used to soak the dried prawns and continue cooking. If you prefer a wetter sauce, top up the water. Season with salt and sugar.

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Cook this for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the brandy. Stir to mix through. *SLURP*

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Once the sauce has cooled, store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Enjoy!

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Home-Made XO Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 300g dried prawns
  2. 150g dried scallops
  3. *10-20g dried chili, seeds removed and soak in hot water until soft
  4. 10 candelnuts
  5. 25 shallots, skin removed
  6. 10 cloves garlic, skin removed
  7. Salt, to taste
  8. Sugar, to taste
  9. 1 teaspoon brandy or any hard liquor
Instructions
  1. Soak the dried prawns in 360ml of water (room temperature) for about 15-20 minutes to soften. Drain and reserve the water. Process the dried prawns (not too finely) in a blender. Set aside.
  2. Steam the scallops until soft. When cooled, use your fingers to shred the scallops.
  3. In the same blender, process the garlic, shallots and candelnuts until fine.
  4. Add the re-hydrated dried chili and process until well-blended.
  5. In a heated wok, add 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the dried prawns and shredded scallops and fry for 2 minutes. Remove from the wok and set aside.
  6. In the same wok, add another 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the spice paste and fry until fragrant.
  7. Return the dried prawns and scallops into the wok.
  8. Continue cooking for about 3-4 minutes, until fragrant.
  9. Add the reserved water used to soak the dried prawns and continue cooking. If you prefer a wetter sauce, top up the water. Season with salt and sugar.
  10. Cook this for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the brandy. Stir to mix through.
  11. Once the sauce has cooled, store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Notes
  1. *In the original recipe, 10 bird's eye chilies were used. I replaced it with the milder dried chili.
Adapted from Mary Adele Ng
Adapted from Mary Adele Ng
The Domestic Goddess Wannabe http://thedomesticgoddesswannabe.com/

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