Updated: Jan 3, 2022
XO sauce is a spicy seafood sauce from Hong Kong made from garlic, chilli, shallots and dried seafood, namely dried shrimp and scallops. It offers some spice along with the rich taste of umami and is a fusion of flavours, including sweet, smoky and salty.
The XO sauce is a highly-prized sauce used mostly in Chinese cuisine. If you’re never given it a try before, here are three interesting dishes made with XO sauce that you can attempt to whip up for your family in Singapore. They are not typical Chinese dishes and might come as a pleasant surprise to some.
XO Sauce Seafood Pasta
A savoury and fragrant seafood pasta filled with rich umami flavour, much like your typical seafood Aglio olio, but extra flavourful. This recipe is adapted from Delishar.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Step 1: Cook the angel hair pasta in a large pot of salted water for about 2 minutes till just shy of al dente.
Step 2: Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of pasta cooking water. Set aside.
Step 3: Heat a pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 4: Add the garlic to the oil, stir occasionally and watch the heat so that the garlic doesn’t brown or burn.
Step 5: Add 2 tablespoons of XO sauce into the pan and sauté until heated through.
Step 6: Add the pasta into the pan and toss to coat thoroughly. Add the pasta cooking water when necessary.
Step 7: Season with salt and pepper.
Step 8: Remove from heat and plate.
Step 9: Top the pasta with bonito flakes, spring onions, coriander and a little more XO sauce.
Shrimp with Coconut Milk Grits & XO Sauce
A creamy and rich porridge-like dish made with flavourful XO sauce. This recipe is adapted from Food52.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Step 1: Bring stock and coconut milk to a boil in a pot. Add white-corn grits, stirring to incorporate evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Then, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes until grits are cooked. Stir in the butter.
Step 2: Add XO sauce to a large skillet and heat on medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until they turn pink.
Step 3: Pour grits onto the bottom of a deep plate and add the sautéed shrimp on top. Top them with more XO sauce if desired. Then, garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Salmon Bites in XO Sauce
A spicy and flavourful salmon dish, perfect with a bowl of rice. This recipe is adapted from the School of Wok.
For The Dish:
Step 1: Cut the salmon into large 1 to 2cm bite-sized pieces.
Step 2: Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
Step 3: Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over high heat until smoking.
Step 4: Add the onion, garlic and chilli and stir-fry for 30 seconds until lightly browned. Then, add the sugar snap peas and stir-fry for a minute until the peas are slightly coloured. Transfer the ingredients to a bowl.
Step 5: Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok and return to a smoking point. Allow the oil to smoke for 5 seconds to ensure the wok is hot enough. Then, add the salmon.
Step 6: Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes until the salmon is browned on all sides.
Step 7: Add the ingredients back into the wok and coat the salmon evenly. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Get your hands on the Man Kee Special XO sauce and give these recipes a try today.
AmigoSG is a sauces supplier in Singapore bringing flavours from Hong Kong to delight the Singapore tastebuds. Shop here.