We lived in Hong Kong for a little over 3 years from 1988 to 1992 but never heard of XO sauce. I don't know when this sauce started becoming popular and it certainly is very popular now not just in Hong Kong but also here in the USA. I wasn't able to find it at our Asian stores but they are available online. I was a bit surprised at the price, a jar of less than half a pound of this sauce costs about $17.00. It must be really good.
Well, it's very very good. I love it! At least the one I made at home. It's spicy and delicious in fried rice or simply with steamed vegetables.
makes about 2½ cups
6 pieces large dried hot red pepper
1 cup dried scallops
5 ounces tiny dried shrimp with shells on
2 ounces Virginia ham, chopped
2 ounces salted fish
¼ cup shelled large dried shrimp, chopped
¼ tablespoon coarsely ground sichuan pepper
1½ cups light olive oil
1 cup minced garlic
1 cup minced onions
- In separate containers, soak the peppers, salted fish, and tiny shrimps.
- Place the dried scallops in a small saucepan, add water to cover by half an inch and simmer until scallops are soft; do not let mixture get dry. Let cool then shred by hand; set aside.
- Drain the soaked ingredients. Remove the seeds from the hot peppers and coarsely chop; set aside. Coarsely chop the tiny shrimp and fish; set aside.
- Heat 1 cup of oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic, onion, and chopped tiny shrimps and let fry on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the peppers, fish, and ham and continue to cook until peppers become translucent. Add more oil if needed. Turn the heat to low, add scallops, large shrimps, and sichuan pepper and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and transfer sauce in jars, let cool. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.