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XO Sauce - oh, my!

XO Sauce - oh, my!
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  • XO Sauce - oh, my!

    Post #1 - October 23rd, 2010, 6:04 pm
    Post #1 - October 23rd, 2010, 6:04 pm Post #1 - October 23rd, 2010, 6:04 pm
    I'd seen XO sauce on menus, but not knowing what it was, and unable to comprehend how XO would have come out of Chinese language, I'd skipped it. You don't see it very often (Little Three Happiness is one of the few).

    But I'd heard good things about it. I looked it up on Wikipedia and found that it could have minced ham (some recipes I've seen use prosciutto!), dried shrimp, fish and/or scallops, chiles, and other spices. It's name comes from XO Cognac -- not that it contains it, but like XO Cognac, the XO connotes aged, refined, and expensive.

    I didn't want to make the sauce myself first time out -- I'd like to know what it's supposed to taste like. Assi Plaza in Niles had one brand, "Golden Double Fish Brand", which contains no ham or fish, but scallop, shrimp, shallot, garlic, oil, chilli (their spelling), sugar, salt, MSG and citric acid (and yet claims "No Preservatives!" on the label).

    I read up a few recipes from books and the web, but ultimately decided to wing it, especially as many of the online recipes combined the XO with hoisin, oyster sauce or ketchup.

    This stuff's dynamite: not too salty, heavily umami, a little spicy. It's not on the ingredient list, but there's hints of five-spice-like flavors of anise and cinnamon.
    I went back to the wok and scraped out every bit of crusty stuff on the sides, to add to a little more rice, it's so good.

    Here's my recipe, designed for a bachelor chow serving:

    Shrimp and Asparagus in XO Sauce
    Makes 1 generous portion

    9 Individually Quick Frozen shrimp, thawed and peeled
    2 Tbs Xiao Hsing Wine (sherry will do)
    1 Tbs Soy
    1/2 tsp potato starch (or 1 tsp corn starch)
    Combine the above and let sit while preparing the rest of the ingredients

    1/4 red bell pepper, sliced into fine julienne about 2" long
    3 large button mushrooms, sliced thin (a handful of shiitake caps would probably work better)
    about a dozen or so pencil-thin stalks of asparagus, cut on the bias to make thin sticks 2-3" long
    2 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
    1/2" of ginger, sliced and matchsticked
    white of a scallion, sliced in 1/4" rounds
    2 Tbs oil
    Heat the oil in a work until smoking. Add the mushrooms and peppers and chow until softened a bit.
    Add the asparagus and continue to chow until they turn bright green.
    Add the garlic, ginger and scallion and continue to cook for another 30 seconds or so
    Add the shrimp and keep everything moving, until they've turned pink


    1 heaping Tbs XO sauce
    4 tsp Chinese black vinegar
    green of a scallion, finely sliced
    1/2 tsp sesame oil
    Add the XO and vinegar, stir to loosen up the XO -- it's a lumpy paste -- and it looks like everything is combined. Turn off the heat, and add the sesame oil and scallion greens.
    Serve over brown rice
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #2 - October 23rd, 2010, 7:17 pm
    Post #2 - October 23rd, 2010, 7:17 pm Post #2 - October 23rd, 2010, 7:17 pm
    I love XO sauce. I feel in love with it in Hong Kong several years ago, where one of the restaurant's specialty was their XO sauce. They even sold it in jars at the restaurant. My mom often prepares stir fried udon noodles and XO sauce with seafood or beef.
  • Post #3 - April 15th, 2019, 4:23 pm
    Post #3 - April 15th, 2019, 4:23 pm Post #3 - April 15th, 2019, 4:23 pm
    SeriousEats has a recipe yielding a quart of XO sauce:
    https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/201 ... sauce.html

    I don't how quickly one might run through a quart. It could be something people might chip in and share the yield.

    I bet this homemade one will be spectacular.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - April 15th, 2019, 8:09 pm
    Post #4 - April 15th, 2019, 8:09 pm Post #4 - April 15th, 2019, 8:09 pm
    Hi, Imperial Lamian serves a couple of dishes with XO sauce, including Seared Turnip, XO Chicken XO, Scallop, and XO Cauliflower XO. I haven’t tried it so I cannot say if their version is good.

    Imperial Lamian
    6 West Hubbard
    Chicago
  • Post #5 - April 16th, 2019, 9:19 am
    Post #5 - April 16th, 2019, 9:19 am Post #5 - April 16th, 2019, 9:19 am
    Love XO but have never bothered to make it, sourcing ingredients for that SE recipe with the exception of the jinhua ham doesn't seem to difficult. Gonna make a batch this weekend (most likely using country ham) and report back.
  • Post #6 - April 16th, 2019, 2:27 pm
    Post #6 - April 16th, 2019, 2:27 pm Post #6 - April 16th, 2019, 2:27 pm
    That’s a lot of XO sauce, but it keeps very well. I periodically make David Chang’s recipe from Momofuku.

    Dried scallops can be hard to find. I get them at Tai Nam Food Market (4925 N Broadway), where they are stored at the cashiers.

    XO is a good application for cured meat scraps, eg country ham ends.
  • Post #7 - April 21st, 2019, 9:25 am
    Post #7 - April 21st, 2019, 9:25 am Post #7 - April 21st, 2019, 9:25 am
    Today’s New York Times’ magazine features a recipe for XO sauce. I can’t provide a link since they block it. They use bacon and dried shrimp and scallops. Looks like a drier, pared recipe from other versions.
  • Post #8 - December 12th, 2021, 2:06 pm
    Post #8 - December 12th, 2021, 2:06 pm Post #8 - December 12th, 2021, 2:06 pm
    Ho, ho, ho. Some homemade XO -

    Image
    Found some nice sized dried shrimp and scallops. The shrimp was from Louisiana.

    Image
    My messy mise.

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Deveining the dried shrimp took some time.
    Next time I make this I will amp up the heat. As it is, it is very nice and funky, with just a touch of heat you don't notice until afterwards.

    This was from an Adam Liaw recipe. I will post a link below.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #9 - December 12th, 2021, 2:08 pm
    Post #9 - December 12th, 2021, 2:08 pm Post #9 - December 12th, 2021, 2:08 pm
    This is the recipe I used:

    https://adamliaw.com/recipe/homemade-xo-sauce/
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #10 - December 12th, 2021, 2:35 pm
    Post #10 - December 12th, 2021, 2:35 pm Post #10 - December 12th, 2021, 2:35 pm
    bw77 wrote:This is the recipe I used:

    https://adamliaw.com/recipe/homemade-xo-sauce/

    Wow, does that look great! You've inspired me. I have to try this . . . soon!

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #11 - December 12th, 2021, 2:46 pm
    Post #11 - December 12th, 2021, 2:46 pm Post #11 - December 12th, 2021, 2:46 pm
    bw77 wrote:This is the recipe I used

    XO has been on my to-do list for a while. Seeing your glorious outcome makes me want to put it on my Done Dooed list.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - December 12th, 2021, 5:03 pm
    Post #12 - December 12th, 2021, 5:03 pm Post #12 - December 12th, 2021, 5:03 pm
    Wow.

    Dried shrimp - no problem. I have not noticed dried scallops. Are they at the usual places ( H-mart, Park to shop.... ) ?

    For those of you by me, Mariano's in Northbrook does a very good job of proscuitto in their deli department. ( one of the few things I continue to buy there )

    I have to make this
  • Post #13 - December 12th, 2021, 5:40 pm
    Post #13 - December 12th, 2021, 5:40 pm Post #13 - December 12th, 2021, 5:40 pm
    Thanks.

    I've haven't seen dried scallops in the regular aisles of a grocery. Think of the places with the big glass jars of more expensive dried mushrooms, wood ear, ginseng, etc. They will usually be at a counter. I did see a jar at Park to Shop on Broadway at a counter. These were from a counter near the front of 88.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #14 - December 12th, 2021, 5:53 pm
    Post #14 - December 12th, 2021, 5:53 pm Post #14 - December 12th, 2021, 5:53 pm
    I think H-Mart may have dried scallops (possibly frozen). So will Richwell Market, where as a bonus you can buy Chinese ham at the meat counter. Chinatown places will have scallops in various sizes/grades sold by weight.

    Sauce looks delicious!

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