With the addition of lemongrass, Los Angeles chef Sang Yoon brings a floral Southeast Asian note to boost the deep umami flavor of this luxurious Chinese sauce. Stir XO sauce into stir-fries or add it to a wok with fried crabs or shrimp.
Enlarge Image Credit: Michael KrausMAKES ABOUT 1 CUP
1 1/4 oz. dried scallops
1/2 oz. dried octopus
1/4 oz. dried shrimp
1/8 oz. dried mackerel
5 cloves garlic cloves
1 stalk lemongrass, stemmed, tough outer leaves discarded, inner core chopped
3 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
1 1/2 tbsp. dark brown sugar or palm sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. fermented bean paste (dou ban jiang)
1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup dark Asian sesame oil
Combine dried seafood in a medium bowl and cover with warm water; let soak until soft, about 1 hour. Drain seafood and transfer to a food processor along with the garlic, lemongrass, and shallot. Process into a coarse paste. Add wine, sugar, bean paste, and soy sauce and pulse to combine.
Heat peanut oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add seafood mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 5 minutes more. Stir in sesame oil and transfer mixture to a clean jar; let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 month.