XO Sauce

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By Peter Gilmore

Published 2014

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  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) grapeseed oil
  • 75 g ( oz) ginger, grated with a fine microplane
  • 75 g ( oz) garlic, grated with a fine microplane
  • 45 g ( oz) mild Korean red chilli flakes
  • 25 g (1 oz) dried scallops (see note)
  • 50 g ( oz) dried sliced jamon (see note)
  • 50 g ( oz) dried whole shiitake mushrooms (see note)
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) oloroso sherry
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) brown rice vinegar
  • 1.5 litres (52 fl oz) xo sea stock
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz) water
  • 5 cm (2 inch) square of dried kombu
  • ½ teaspoon xantana (fermented cornstarch)
  • Korean fermented anchovy fish sauce, to taste


Heat the grapeseed oil in a stockpot or very large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli flakes and stir until well softened. Add the dried scallops, jamon and shiitake mushrooms. Sweat for a further 2 minutes. Deglaze with oloroso sherry and brown rice vinegar. Reduce on high heat until liquid has evaporated by half. Add the XO sea stock and water, and simmer very gently for 1 hour. Add the kombu square, remove from heat and allow to infuse for a further 1 hour. Strain the XO sauce through a medium sieve, allowing some but not all of the solids through. Lightly press on the solids in the sieve to extract the liquid. Put the XO sauce in a clean saucepan and bring it back to simmering point.

Transfer 100 ml ( fl oz) of the sauce into a small bowl. Sprinkle the xantana over the top and whisk well until smooth. Pour this back into the sauce, whisking over heat until smooth and slightly thickened.

Adjust the seasoning with Korean fermented anchovy fish sauce.