Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Homemade XO Sauce

Print Friendly and PDF

XO Sauce is considered the emperor of all sauces.  Many professional chefs have their own versions of this sauce and the recipe is usually guarded in secrecy.  A small teaspoon of this sauce can take any stir-fry dish and transform it!  This is a sauce that is not very well known of in the supermarket.  I think that this is because XO sauce is typically very expensive.  It is not uncommon for a small jar to sell for upwards of $30.

This recipe of mine will allow you to make our own for a fraction of the cost!  Note that traditionally XO sauce is typically also made with dried chili peppers to provide a spicy kick.  However, my family prefers a non-spicy version which we have affectionally called OX sauce.  Feel free to add dried chili peppers to the recipe if desired.

To make my XO Sauce you will need:
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4-5 small onions (or 1 large onion), finely diced
  • 90g medium-sized dried prawns
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 6 pieces of dried scallops, shredded
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce

The steps to prepare Homemade XO Sauce:

  1. In a food processor separately process the dried scallops, dried prawns, and diced onions.  The goal isn't to turn the ingredients to a fine powder, it's just to make them a little finer.
  2. Heat up small pot on high heat and put in the shredded scallops.  We are bringing out the flavour of the scallops.  Do so for about another 3 minutes and then add in the shredded prawns.
  3. Keep stirring the dry mixture around to prevent burning.  Once you can start to smell the full flavour of the scallops and the prawns, you may add in the 2 cups of oil to the pot.  You may need to add a little more oil because the goal is to just have enough oil to reach the top of the mixture.  Gently stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Continue stirring and now add in the garlic and onions (If using dried chili now is the time to add them).  Lower the temperature to medium and continue to cook for about 15 minutes.  The mixture should be constantly bubbling but NOT burning.  Add in the dark soy now as well as a pinch of salt towards the end of the 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat after the 15 minutes and transfer the contents to a glass bowl.  Allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a mason jar.


  1. How long does the XO sauce keep? Thanks!

    1. Thanks for visiting! The XO Sauce keeps very well. It's oil content is very high and doesn't tend to harbour bacteria well. I've kept it in the fridge for up to half a year with no problems. If unsure then you can use it in a stir fry which should kill off bacteria.