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Chinese XO sauce on the silver spoon

XO sauce

A rich and flavorful XO sauce is a great condiment for noodlesdumplingsturnip cakeChinese pancake and vegetables. Pretty much you can add to anything you want. Enjoy this homemade easy and tasty XO sauce recipe!
Course sauce
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 40
Calories 28kcal
Author Tracy O.


  • 1.5 tablespoons  Salt
  • 1 tablespoon  Sugar
  • 3.5 cups Vegetable oil
  • 3 whole Garlic Medium sized
  • 10 pieces Shallot Small/medium sized
  • ½ cup Dried shrimp
  • ½ cup Dried scallops
  • ½ cup Dried chili pepper
  • ¼ cup Fresh chili pepper


  • Wash and soak ½ cup of dried scallop for a couple hours until it's soft.
  • Then, drain the water and blend the scallop in a chopper. Don't need to be very fine. Little chunk is ok. 
  • Wash and soak ½ cup of dried small shrimps for 15-30 minutes.
  • After that, drain the water and blend the dried shrimp in the chopper. (The same as dried scallops don't need to be very fine.)
  • Peel and wash 10 pieces of shallots (Small/medium sized).
  • Put the washed shallots into the chopper and blend a little bit.
  • Peel and wash 3 whole medium sized garlic.
  • Then, put the garlic into the chopper and blend them until they are small pieces. 
  • Next, wash and soak ½ cup of dried chili pepper for 10-15 minutes.
  • Put the dried chili peppers into the chopper. Blend until small pieces. Then, add ¼ cup of fresh chili peppers and chop small pieces.
  • Pour 3.5 cups of vegetable oil in a pot. Use wooden chopsticks to test the oil if it is hot enough. There will be some bubbles around the chopsticks when the oil is hot enough.
  • Turn the fire to medium small, add the chopped shallot into hot oil. (Put the shallot slowly in case it will overflow.) Keep stirring once a while and simmering for 3 minutes. 
  • After that, add the chopped garlic. Then, keep stirring once a while and simmering for 3 minutes.
  • Later, add the chopped dried and fresh chili peppers.
  • Next, add the chopped dried scallops and shrimps. Keep stirring and simmering for 10 minutes.
  • Lastly, add 1.5 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar, mix well and simmering for another 5-10 minutes.



Cooking tips for how to make homemade XO sauce:

  • Dried shrimp, scallops and chili peppers need to be soaked before. Dried scallops take a little long to be softened, so soak for a couple hours before cooking.
  • Roughly chop garlic, shallots, chili peppers, dried shrimps and dried scallops. I like to use a chopper because it’s faster and easier.
  • Don’t need to chop them very fine little chunks is ok.
  • Turn on medium small fire to heat up the oil.
  • Oil needs to be hot enough before adding chopped shallots.
  • You can test the oil with wooden chopsticks to see if there are some bubbles around the chopsticks. If you see the bubbles, it means the oil is hot enough.
  • Try to use a taller pot, in case when you put the ingredients will overflow or turn the fire to small before adding the ingredients.
  • Keep stirring them once a while.
  • Wait until it’s cool off, then put them into small glass jars.


Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg