Bacon XO sauce
Bacon XO Sauce. Matt Taylor-Gross

At Hopscotch, an upmarket Asian-American diner and cocktail bar in Oakland, CA, chef Jack Lin replaces the traditional Jinhua in XO sauce with bacon for a smoky kick. Use this spicy, meaty, addictively funky condiment with everything from stir-fried dishes to soups. Use it in this stir fry of shell-on shrimp with long beans.

Featured in: The Secrets of Making XO Sauce, the Magic Condiment of China

Bacon XO Sauce Bacon XO Sauce
A sweet and salty sauce good enough for just about anything.
Yield: makes 2 cups
Time: 2 hours


  • 8 dried scallops (about 1 1/2 oz.)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 oz. bacon, minced
  • 14 cup karashi mentaiko (spicy cod roe)
  • 14 cup shirasu (frozen baby anchovies)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 1 fresno chile, stemmed and minced
  • 1 Thai chile, stemmed and minced
  • 2 tbsp. chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt


  1. In a 4-qt. saucepan filled with 1 inch of water, fit a steamer insert or small sieve into the pan and bring the water to a boil. Add the scallops, cover the pan, and steam until soft, about 20 minutes. Transfer the scallops to a cutting board, let cool, then mince. Discard the steaming water then return the pan to medium heat.
  2. Add the oil to the pan, then stir in the scallops and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer scallops to a bowl and return the pan to the heat. Continue frying the remaining ingredients individually, in the same oil, until they are all golden brown, about 12 minutes for the bacon, 3 minutes for the karashi and shirasu, 8 minutes for the garlic, 14 minutes for the shallots, and 5 minutes for the chiles. As it is cooked, transfer each ingredient to the bowl with the scallops. Remove the pan from the heat and let the oil cool.
  3. Stir the chicken stock, brown sugar, and salt, along with the cooled frying oil, into the fried ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Let the sauce stand for 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to meld. Refrigerate any unused sauce in an airtight container for up to 6 months.