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The Hirshon XO Sauce – XO酱

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 25 gm dried scallops
  • 75 gm dried prawns
  • 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil, or just enough to cover all the ingredients
  • 75 gm garlic (about 20 cloves), finely chopped
  • 75 gm red shallots (about 6), finely chopped
  • 50 gm Virginia ham or prosciutto cut in a single slice, finely shredded
  • 25 gm fresh long red chilis (about 6), seeded and finely chopped
  • 10 grams peeled and minced ginger
  • 15 gm dried long red chilis, seeded, soaked and finely chopped
  • 7 gm dried birdseye chilis, finely chopped
  • 5 gm Malaysian-style shrimp paste (aka belacan; be sure to roast before using!)
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp roe, crumbled (available in many Chinese grocery stores; optional)
  • 15 gm sugar, or to taste


  1. Roast shrimp paste: wrap it in aluminum foil and roast at 200C until fragrant (4-5 minutes).
  2. Soak dried scallops and dried prawns separately in 125ml (½ cup) hot water mixed with ¼ cup shaoxing wine until plump (preferably overnight).
  3. Drain scallops (reserve soaking water), tear them into fine shreds, pat dry on absorbent paper and set aside. Drain prawns (reserve water), chop them finely and set aside.
  4. Heat half the oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium-high heat, add scallops and deep-fry until very crisp (1-2 minutes; cover with lid as they may spit). Drain well, reserve oil. Wipe out wok with absorbent paper, add reserved oil and remaining oil and return to medium heat.
  5. Add garlic, shallots and dried prawns and stir continuously until golden brown (4-5 minutes).
  6. Add jamón, fresh chili and dried chili, fry for a few seconds (be careful, it may burn easily), then add shrimp paste, fried scallops and reserved scallop and prawn water and stir continuously for a few more seconds.
  7. Add remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt and stir occasionally until fragrant and water has completely evaporated (20-30 minutes).
  8. Remove from heat, strain (reserve oil), transfer solids to a sterile jar, then pour in enough reserved oil to cover. XO sauce will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for 1 month.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes


  • Calories: 622.04 kcal
  • Sugar: 6.03 g
  • Sodium: 307.78 mg
  • Fat: 60.67 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.31 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.46 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.33 g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 7.85 g
  • Cholesterol: 36.46 mg