This is a great example of cultural osmosis. For years, whenever the Quay staff had something to celebrate as a team we would end up in Chinatown. By far the most popular dish was live pipis from the tank steamed and served with XO sauce. XO sauce appears to have originated in Hong Kong in the 1970s, where the chefs all tried to outdo each other with the best version. It usually contains a good amount of dried chilli, and many umami-rich ingredients such as dried Chinese ham, dried scallops, dried prawns, mushrooms, ginger and garlic. About a year ago I decided to make my own version, inspired by the universal love for this sauce.
Meanwhile, reheat the XO sauce to simmering point and heat the remaining clarified butter in a non-stick frying pan. Add all of the dehydrated XO garnish ingredients to the pan and cook over low heat to warm through.
Place an even amount of the warm poached seafood in the base of each warmed serving bowl. Ladle over enough XO sauce to just cover the seafood. Garnish with an even quantity of dehydrated XO garnish ingredients. Serve.
© 2014 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.