Xo Sauce


1/2 ounce dried octopus
1/4 ounce dried shrimp
5 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fermented bean paste (dou ban jiang)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut oil


Combine dried seafood in a medium bowl and cover with warm water. Let soak until soft, about 1 hour.
Drain and transfer to a food processor along with the garlic and shallot. Process into a coarse paste.
Add wine, sugar, bean paste, and soy sauce and pulse to combine.
Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add seafood mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Stir in sesame oil and transfer to a clean jar. Let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 month.


XO sauce, a spicy seafood sauce, was developed in the 1980s in Hong Kong. It was once a prestigious ingredient used in seafood dishes in high-end Chinese restaurants and is believed to have gotten its name from the expensive brandy named XO.

The spicy, umami-flavored sauce is used to enhance the flavor of stir-fried meat, seafood, vegetable and tofu dishes.

This recipe is adapted from the Jan/Feb 2011 edition of Saveur magazine.


1.0 cup


Monday, January 3, 2011 - 1:51pm


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