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"XO Sauce"


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all kinds of stuff. Dried chilis, dried shrimp, dried scallops, fermented bean paste, brandy, shallots, to name a few. The kind I have at home is from lee kum kee, and its a hong kong based company. However there are some recipes for it.

XO is cantonese in origin even though its very spicy, I beleive. Here's about.com's entry on XO:

http://chinesefood.about.com/library/weekl...y/aa030702a.htm

Jason Perlow

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Wasn't there an article in the NY Times a while back about XO sauce? If I recall correctly, it said that some (most, many?) chefs make their own version.

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  • 4 weeks later...

it's a hong kong creation -  sort of a luxury version of your usual chili sauce made with fresh and dried chilis, 'gong yiu chu' or dried scallops, other dried marine products (shrimp and in some recipes, something known as dried 'sun and moon fish') etc

i don't think cognac ever goes into the recipe - the name xo sauce is some cunning marketing ploy to give the product some degree of cache (and probably the best way to do that with local hong kongers who do love their cantonese food with cognac was to slap on the xo label.  

that said, xo sauce is yummier than the more commonly found fermented bean paste chili sauce  because of the dried scallops and other assorted dried sea products thrown in.  recipes vary from restaurant to restaurant, although the best xo sauce i've tasted is homemade - my mom's :)

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  • 1 year later...

Toss a spoonfull of it in with your stir frys. It works great with simple seafood and vegetable dishes, as a spicy augmentation to a soy or oyster sauce base.

Shrimp with green beans (or other green veg), sauteed with a shot of oyster sauce or black bean (even a little of both), soya and XO is a good combo.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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What exactly is in XO sauce?  I have only seen it used on Iron Chef and they never describe it.

Thanks!

Ben

Its got a ton of ingredients in it, some chefs make their own. Its a spicy condiment that has dried shrimp, dried scallops and about 20 other things in it.

Heres a sample recipe for one:

http://chinesefood.about.com/library/blrecipe403.htm

Commercial XO sauces of course will vary in ingredients. I dont think there is a set formula for these.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Interesting, thanks for the info.  I wonder how it got the name XO sauce.  Perhaps it was some chef's secret blend and they labeled it as such.

Ben

It originates from Hong Kong, but beyond that I'm not sure.

EDIT: Merged with older XO thread, which explains this.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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Anybody know what's in this mysterious Chinese sauce? What part of China is it from?

XO SAUCE

The information that’s been posted about XO sauce is mostly right on the money.

XO names a premium spicy sauce that has originated in Hong Kong in the last 10-15 years (I believe).

Chefs take pride in making their own XO sauce, typically viewing it as a premium sauce because they are using a large number of ingredients, some of which may be very expensive. Dried scallops, dried shrimp, dried baby fish, ham, garlic, ginger, 4 or 5 different varieties of fresh and dried chiles, are all components of XO sauce recipes that I’ve seen.

XO sauce can refer to two related but different things. Its primary identity is as a condiment sauce on the table, just like soy or any other hot sauce. In vernacular usage, sometimes the phrase XO is just being used to suggest that a particular spicy dish is special or somehow of premium quality, though it may not necessarily contain the spicy table condiment XO sauce the chef is preparing.

It name comes from the marketing idea that XO Cognac is a premium product, and it’s that association the name refers to.

Because XO sauce is a ‘new’ sauce and because it is expensive there are very few available commercially. I have primarily tried Lee Kum Kee, but the truth is, that it kind of goes against the tradition that each chef is putting their own personal stamp on it.

If you're in NYC go to Ping's at 22 Mott and order a couple of Giant Oysters Steamed with XO Sauce. Good dish!

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How about a recipe to use with the sauce?

I don't use XO sauce in my cooking.

Any particular reason?

When I want to make a spicy sauce I usually want a clean flavor, such as straight chiles fresh or dried (heat), or the special aroma of a dried and scortched chile. Sometimes I want the flavor of a spicy bean paste which is heat plus fermented bean flavor. I find the flavor of XO sauce something I want to use as a dip but not as the basis for a sauce. As I said earlier in the thread it's been my experience that much of the time a dish is said to have an XO sauce it is usually a way of describing a special dish that is spicy and not necessarily one that is made from XO sauce.

At Pings for instance, if you order the Giant Oyster w XO Sauce you get a completely different sauce than the bowl of his own XO sauce which is put on the table for dipping

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  • 2 years later...

hi there. I had clams in XO sauce in the amazing golden Century restaurant in sydney and have wanted to know how to make the sauce ever since. I believe it is made with dried scallops and ham but does anyone have a recipe for it/ know the origins? My Chinese friend says it is a hong kong dish, XO standing for executing officer.

any help would be appreciated

also recipe for 'chinese doughnuts'

thanks

isaac

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Ingredients

Dried Scallop

Dried Tiny Shrimp

Dried Shrimp Roe

Dried Ham

Chili

Hot Chili Oil

Peanut Oil

First soak the scallop until soft then shred it into really tiny pieces. Also, might want to chop the shrimp and ham up a bit if it is too big.

Pan fried the shrimp and scallop in lots of peanut oil until they are golden brown. Stir in the roe and add as much chili, and hot sauce as you want. Add salt if needed after tasting.

I think XO sauce came from Hong Kong and it got its name from the alcohol "XO" which is expensive. By giving it the name "XO", it symbolizes how expensive it is. :hmmm:

Although it does sound really easy to make XO sauce, but it is important to gather good ingredients to good XO sauce. There are many different varieties of XO sauce such as abalone, salmon :wink: , and shark fin.

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Ingredients

.....

Dried Ham

.....

I think XO sauce came from Hong Kong and it got its name from the alcohol "XO" which is expensive. By giving it the name "XO", it symbolizes how expensive it is.   :hmmm:

Silly me. When I first saw the term XO sauce, which was perhaps >10 years ago, I really thought they used XO class Cognac to make it!

And I now think it wouldn't hurt to drop some XO cognac in your sauce while cooking it. If one is going to use abalone and shark-fin, what the heck! XO can only make it taste better.

I understand all other ingredients, except...when you said Dried Ham, were you referring to Huo3 Tui3 [Mandarin] 火腿?

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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also recipe for 'chinese doughnuts'

thanks

isaac

Are thesethe long crullers that you eat with jook?

If they are, then they are called: yu tiao (Mandarin), yu ja gui(Cantonese), Chinese crullers in English terms. Never heard them called donuts before. Google it and I think Martin Yan has a good recipe.

Be aware that to make the real McCoy. you need alum, potassium carbonate, etc., pretty hard to get unless you are friendly with an apothecary or a large Asian goods supply house.

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Just adding my .02 to the XO discussion ... well maybe I have to make it .20 due to ingredients :raz:

Luckily for me, I have some made by my x-landlady. It is amazing and still in my fridge. As you see by the posted recipe, there are ingredients and you can vary them, plus what are the amounts of these ingredients. It is easy to see why each and every chef / cook who makes XO makes it differently.

In the end it adds heat and enhanced flavor to the dishes it is used in. Keep us posted on your experiments, I have about a year's supply left before I start making my own.

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