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Sauces and Condiments

XO sauce

XO sauce
Mariah Tauger / For the Times

Chefs are by nature obsessive. It's a personality trait that tends to fit them, like their chef's whites, that knife collection, maybe some latent pyromania. You could argue that chef Sang Yoon has been better than most at channeling his ... Read more

Total time: About 1 1/2 hours | Makes about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1 1/3 cups (170 grams) dried scallops
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) dried shrimp
  • 1/4 cup diced (37.5 grams) Chinese cured ham, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 to 5 (2.5 grams) Japanese dried chiles
  • About 2 tablespoons (15 grams) chicken bouillon powder
  • 2 generous tablespoons (15 grams) minced lemongrass, from a roughly 6-inch by 1/2-inch piece of stalk
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (60 grams) sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2/3 cup (225 grams) peanut oil, divided
  • About 2 tablespoons (25 grams) minced garlic, from 5 to 6 cloves
  • 6 tablespoons (55 grams) minced shallots, from 2 to 3 shallots
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (40 grams) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (15 grams) Chinese sweet soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground white pepper
  • Scant 2 tablespoons (25 grams) chile oil

Step 1In a steamer set over a pot of boiling water, steam the dried scallops and shrimp until softened and the scallops break apart easily, about 20 minutes.

Step 2Combine the reconstituted scallops, shrimp and ham in a food processor and blend until nicely shredded.

Step 3Add the dried chiles, bouillon powder, lemongrass, sesame oil and 1/2 cup (100 grams) peanut oil to the food processor and blend to combine.

Step 4In a wok, add the remaining peanut oil along with the food processor mixture and heat over low heat. Stir in the garlic, shallots, sugar and sweet soy sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until the contents slowly begin to caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 5Stir in the white pepper and chile oil and continue to slowly caramelize (it will bubble slowly) until the color is deepened and beginning to brown to a mahogany color. Remove from heat, transfer the sauce to a heatproof, non-reactive container, and set aside to cool. Once cooled, refrigerate overnight before using.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by chef Sang Yoon.

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