XO Sauce Recipe – Authentic HK Seafood Sauce [自制XO瑶柱酱]

XO sauce is a seafood-based sauce that was invented in HK. It is full of umami, garlicky flavor, slightly spicy, smells amazing as well. The name XO reference high quality and luxury. It is quite expansive to by it. Learn how to make it at home.

If you don’t want to do the work, you can buy Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce: https://amzn.to/2DMljyZ

– 150 grams of skinless dry shrimp (grind 120 grams and save the rest for presentation) [Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2XamPUo]
– 150 grams of dry scallop [Amazon Link: -https://amzn.to/2XaAdYT]
– 120 grams of Jin Hua ham
– 1 cup of Chinese cooking wine
– 3 cups of canola oil
– 1 medium size onion, finely diced
– 25-30 cloves of garlic, finely diced
– 2 pieces of spring onion
– 3 slices of ginger
– 3 pieces of cilantro stem
– 2 – 4 tbsp of oyster sauce
– 2 – 4 tbsp of soy sauce
– 1 tbsp of sugar
– 2 tsp of ground black pepper
– 1.5 tbsp of chili flake


– Dry shrimp [海米, 虾米, 干虾仁]: It is basically just shrimp that have been sun-dried and shrunk to a thumbnail size. Different than fresh shrimp, it has a strong umami taste. When you go to an oriental store, get the smaller dry shrimp. It is much cheaper compare to the big ones. Save some shrimp for presentation.

– Dry scallop or conpoy [瑶柱, 干贝 ]: Same as the shrimp, you can by the smaller ones since it is cheaper. It is also popular in China and we consider it as a luxury ingredient.

– Jin Hua Ham [金华火腿]: It is a type of dry-cured ham, a specialty from Zhe Jiang Province in China. I don’t have it today. So I used a piece of Hu nan Style smoked bacon. I found that it adds a really nice smokiness to the sauce. It is even better than the Jin Hua ham. If you can’t find Chinese ham, you can use any dry-curd meat you can find. Surely, the taste will be different but you won’t ruin the sauce. We only use lean ham for this recipe. Make sure you remove any attached fat. Cut it into smaller pieces so it is easier to steam.

– Put the dry shrimp, dry scallop, ham into a steamer. Add some Chinese cooking wine. Turn the heat to high. When the water comes to a boil, start counting the time. We gonna steam them for 25 minutes.

– While waiting, prepare some aromatics: cilantro stems, 2 pieces of spring onion, 3 slices of ginger, 25-30 cloves of garlic and 1 medium size onion. Smash the garlic one by one and finely diced them. Dice the onion finely as well.

– Now, you can go back and check the steamer. Drain the water. Save the liquid for later. We will grind all the ingredients in a food processor separately. You want to process it on and off for 3-4 times. We don’t want to grind them into a paste. We still want to keep them in a loose form. If you don’t have a machine, you can mince all the ingredients by hand.

– These 3 ingredients, you should add them to the wok in an order base on the moisture level. The one that has the highest moisture level should go into the wok first. Fry it until the steam evaporates a little bit and then add in the other ingredients.

– Use 3 cups of canola oil. Don’t need to wait for the oil to get hot, just add in the ingredients. Cook them on low heat. All the ingredients will be simmered in the oil for a long time. That encourages the umami fragrance to come out. Fry them for 7-8 minutes, add the whole shrimp that is for presentation. This frying process will go on for 35-45 minutes in total. Make sure to keep the flame at low the whole time and stir it continually to ensure they cook evenly. As the moisture content gets less and less, the oil will appear more. You will see lots of bubbles on the top as well. At this stage, you want to pay attention to the color. Once it reaches a light golden brown. You can take them out. Let them go through a sieve. Drain out all the oil. We will use the oil later.

– Get a big frying pan. Add in the fried shrimp, scallop, and the ham. Pour in 1/2 cup of the remaining steamed liquid that we drain out before. Continue adding 2 to 4 tbsp of soy sauce, 2-4 tbsp of oyster sauce, and 1 tbsp of sugar depending on your taste. Cook this on medium heat to reduce the liquid that we just added. This will take about 8-10 minutes. Set it aside.

– We gonna use the leftover oil to fry the aromatics. Throw in the cilantro stems, scallion knots, the ginger slices, the diced onion, and the diced garlic. Let it cook on low heat as well. We want to fry them until they are golden. It will take about 20 minutes. When the color of the oil turns brown and the garlic is slightly golden, you can take out the cilantro, scallion, and ginger. Add the fried seafood and ham back into the wok. Add 1.5 tbsp of chili flakes, and 2 tsp of black pepper. Mix well. Turn off the heat and let it cool down with the lid on.

– Store the XO sauce in a clean container. It will last 4 months in room temperature, 8 months in the fridge.


RadicalRalph Russo says:

Fantastic,Looks great,Thank you.Stay well.

Potolipe says:

not ham, pork belly

katuska Vijol says:

Hey!! Can you make a video on how to make take out style chilly beef ?

Tina LK says:

The lipstick is a tad too red for you.

Rain Zakaria says:

do you live in Italy?

GolDreadLocks says:

Is it absolutely necessary to add ham? I don”t eat pork…..

Sarah Sims says:

That’s made me hungry lol. I’ve never tried X O sauce before, but I think I might have too now lol

N B says:

I think I will buy a jar of this to see if I like it first before I think about making some. Too much work to make and it doesn’t look appetising either, though probably tastes great! Love how you give us a full written recipe in the description so we can print it and go buy the ingredients to make the recipe :=). This is a massive plus. Thanks Mandy for going to all this effort!

BragmansWorld says:

Love your channel and your recipes! I’ve made a few of them now, quite enjoy them! I have a question: where did you get that wok? I’ve never seen one like it! Is it available online?

world through my eyes says:

XO or XOXO…Hugs and Kisses sauce because of how it tastes <3

Zandra Faulks says:

The XO sauce looks out of this world delicious and Mandy’s instructions and tips are impeccable as always. The sauce reminds me of the Ghanaian condiment called Shitto.

Dooley H says:

I’m on a ketogenic diet (very low carb) and this looks like something I can add flavor to my vegetables saute, etc. I just tried two of the recipes and the accuracy of the videos are amazing. The flavors are just yummy!

hwang taehyun says:

Love your amazing sauce ^^

Russell Robinson says:

You are such a great cook! I would marry you! Or your mom! Or your grandma! I know they had to teach you! Wish I could have been there to smell it and taste! You have me literally starving!

Ron Jetko says:

Another, fascinating recipe, Mandy. I bet it would be good on egg foo yung.

Shasha Torres says:

I love ur pronounce when speak… But i love what u cook too… GBU

tihi says:

XO comes from the grade for Cognac which mean extra old and therefore high quality

Jon M says:

Very interesting. First Ive heard of it. Looks very promising. Thank you.

Michael W. says:

Very interesting recipe, Mandy! But this is one that I will probably never make. I’m not even sure what it’s used for. 😛

Amy G says:

I’m a recent sub and I’m loving your channel!! ❤️❤️❤️

Anthony Rosa says:

Now we need recipies that depend on this… Good job.

FrostedCreations says:

That’s a lot of sauce! I’m not sure I’d use that much before it goes off, would I do anything different to just make half of it? Fry for less time?

Nic Copernicus says:

One of my favourite sauces! Thanks for staying true to the recipes and not taking any short cuts. Your videos have taught me a great deal. You are an amazing teacher and an absolute gift to the online community.

duncan mitchell says:

wow lots  of work…..but worth it ….

Abel Campos says:

Nice! Thanks

shanta drepaul says:

Wow i love this recipe. I will surely try it some day

13c11a says:

To prepare jars, let them air dry. Once you wipe them with a paper towel, they are no longer bacteria free. This sauce looks phenomenal. I would be afraid to make it. I am starting with your simpler recipes. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

timstravellingwok says:

Hi Mandy, I have been a subscriber of your “Souped Up Recipes” for a while now and I really love your passion and the work that you do on your channel. Your recipes are absolutely fail-safe because you are very thorough in your research, recipe development and presentation, as well as in revealing the entire recipe, without holding back on any secrets, as I found out the hard way from other food presenters over the years.

The reason I decided to write to you this time, is about your use of Canola oil. I would like to raise your awareness about the harmful effects of this nasty oil, to us humans. I was very sick for a number of years, with symptoms of poor memory and depression; anxiety; asthma and worst of all, chronic fatigue syndrome. I had been very healthy and strong for most of my life, up until all these symptoms started to appear. The Doctors were treating me for all of these symptoms, but my condition was worsening instead of improving. It wasn’t until I spoke to an expert on oils, that this person picked up on my health complaints and instantly made the connection to canola oil. To cut a very long story short, after I completely eliminated canola oil from our diet and literally threw out any canola oil that I had in the kitchen, my condition started to improve, to the point that I no longer suffer from any of the complaints mentioned above.

Regardless of what most of the information out there claims, most of which is provided by the beneficiaries of canola oil production, the fact remains that it is bad for our health. I understand that it is very cheap, but there are other not much more expensive alternatives out there, such as sunflower oil and peanut oil for high heat cooking, provided each type of oil is used according to its properties such as smoking point.

I came across a very informative article, titled “9 Reasons Canola Oil Is Bad for You (as in, Toss It ASAP)”, at this link:  https://blog.bulletproof.com/what-is-canola-oil/ which I hope that you and your subscribers will get some benefit from.

Please note that I am in no way connected to any oil companies, nor do I have shares in any company, therefore I gain nothing from the information contained above.

Best wishes, Always, Tim

Brianna Bouldin says:

Omg, I was just thinking about this today. I had some rice rolls with XO sauce and it is amaaazzzing. I feel like I would put this on everything!

caminantesolitair says:

amazing!! thank you so much!! love from brazil

Epische Wurststulle Der Verdammnis says:

I’m mentally devastated by the looks of this sauce. It looks just awful. On the other hand my mouth is watering like crazy. This sauce must be one hell of a flavor bomb in all kinds of recipes.

gary lee says:

Delicious , it is great for that

s buma says:

Love it! i’ve been looking for a good XO sauce recipe forever!

Ricky Cunningham says:

Can not wait for the recipe for the ham as I am curious as to what it tastes like.

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!