XO Sauce

  • Serves

    makes About 1 Cup


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.


  • 1¼ oz. dried scallops
  • ½ oz. dried octopus
  • ¼ oz. dried shrimp
  • ⅛ oz. dried mackerel
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, stemmed, tough outer leaves discarded, inner core chopped
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
  • 1½ tbsp. dark brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 1½ tbsp. fermented bean paste (dou ban jiang)
  • 1½ tbsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ cups peanut oil
  • ¼ cups dark Asian sesame oil


Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

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