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Homemade XO Sauce

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  • Author: Amy Ta
  • Total Time: 50 minutes


This sauce is considered the emperor of all sauces in Hong Kong. Here is a homemade version that will set your tastebuds on fire.


  • 2 cups (17 fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons shredded dried scallops
  • 85g (3 oz) medium-sized dried shrimp
  • 100g (3.5 oz) salted pork, diced finely
  • 40 dried chilies
  • 2 fresh long red chilies, deseeded and chopped finely
  • teaspoon salt


  1. Heat a wok over high heat, add ½ cup of the oil and carefully coat the wok with the oil. When a little bit of white smoke appears, add the onion and garlic and stir gently until the garlic becomes golden in colour.
  2. Add the remaining oil, scallops, shrimp, pork, dried chili, fresh chili and salt. Gently stir and bring to the boil. Lower the temperature to medium and cook for approx 10 minutes – make sure the mixture is constantly bubbling but is not burning.
  3. Take the mixture off the heat and transfer the contents to a glass bowl to cool to room temperature.
  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature and place in the food processor and whiz for 10 seconds. The ingredients should just be roughly chopped and not be fine. The sauce is now ready be used.


The sauce will keep for up to 6 months and the flavours will develop over time.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
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