Friday, June 24, 2011

Homemade X. O. Sauce 自家製 X. O. 醬

It has been very scary to read the newspaper lately, especially the Chinese newspapers. It is even more disturbing to go to the grocery store. Many Chinese, including myself, have been avoiding buying processed food which has the "made in China" label. One alternative is to search for the equivalent which is made in Taiwan. But it seems that we are almost run out of alternatives.
On top of that, Japanese food may have radiation contamination...Consumer confidence is very low and who knows what will be discovered tomorrow about all these food additives. It's just sad, very sad...
(click here for English version of more news articles)

However, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. We can go back to homemade food. Tsing Hua University Molecular Biology Medical Research Professor Lee wrote an interesting article titled, "It Is Better To Eat What Mom Cooks!" Most people are so busy that they do not spend much time in the kitchen. By buying convenient and nicely packaged processed food, you are putting your health on the line. Everyone knows that it is much cheaper and healthier to prepare your own food, and it is better for the environment as well.

Besides bread, cake and dessert, you can make this X.O. sauce at home as well. Among all the other sauces in the store, I think this sauce is the most expensive one. By making it yourself, it only costs a fraction of what the store sells. And most importantly, you know what you put in!!

This sauce has many applications. If you put a spoonful when you stir fry vegetables, meat or seafood it will greatly enhance the flavor. It does go well with noodles or low mein, too!!


150g/5 oz dry scallop
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
2 slices ginger 

150g/1¾ cup small dry shrimp
175g/about 17 pieces shallot 
2 heads garlic 
16 pieces dry red pepper
Juice from 2 limes
2 tsp dry shrimp paste
1 tbsp water 
1 tbsp sugar 
Salt, to taste
3 tbsp dry shrimp eggs 

1)  Prepare the dry scallops by soaking them in hot water. Add the cooking wine and ginger. Steam for about an hour. Cool and shred into small pieces by hand.
2)  Cut the garlic and shallot into small pieces either with a knife or with a food processor. Cut the red pepper into pieces. Remove some of the seeds (or keep them for a spicier X.O. sauce). Soak the dry shrimp in water to soften. Cut into small pieces. Set aside.

3)  Heat up a wok. Put 1/4 cup oil in it. Put the shallots in on medium heat. Keep stirring until it turns translucent.

4)  Add the minced garlic and 1/4 cup of oil. Keep stirring on medium heat until it turns slightly brown. Take the garlic off the heat.

5)  Add half a cup of oil to the wok on medium heat. Add the diced shrimp and keep stirring until it looks crispy. Mix water with the dry shrimp paste and add to the shrimp. Add the lime juice, sugar, garlic, shallots and red pepper. Salt to taste. Keep stirring for a few more minutes. Take the mixture off the heat.

6)  Put half a cup of oil in the wok on medium heat. Add the shredded scallops and keep stirring for a few minutes. 

7)  Then add all of the above ingredients and the shrimp eggs. Keep stirring and add more oil if needed.

8)  Let it cool completely before storing in containers.


1)  This portion can make a lot. Keep it in containers or jars and they can be kept in the refrigerator for a long time. They are great as gifts, too. You can reduce to half or a quarter of the recipe if you want to.
2)  Dry shrimp paste can be replaced with wet. If shrimp paste is not to your preferences, feel free to omit it. But do taste the sauce and add salt accordingly.
3)  Add more red peppers if you like it spicier.
4)  The steaming time for the dry scallops can be cut down to half an hour if they are soaked overnight.

如果你有留意最近新聞,我想你一定會注意到所謂黑心食品,這些報道讀後真教人心慌,我雖然不是居住在中國或台灣,但作為海外華人,我也經常接觸到來自中國及台灣的加工食品。本來以為盡量避免從大陸出產的食品,選擇從台灣的會比較心安,但如今可真是無從選擇, 再加上日本的輻射危機,真是到處烏鴉一樣黑,十分的可悲 !

清華大學分子醫學研究所教授李寬容在「中國時報」上寫了一篇很有意思的文章,題目是「還是吃媽媽煮的東西吧! 」  實在是發人深省。盡管科技發達,社會人人都講求效率,越來越少人會放太多時間在厨房,寧可買方便,包裝精美的加工食品,但這樣做不單送上金錢及更寶貴的健康,更加很不環保呢 !

其實很多食物都可以自己動手做,除了麵包或蛋糕甜品外, X. O. 醬也是其中之一,自己買料做,成本不多,但最重要的是自己知道放了什麼材料呢 !

此醬用途甚廣,無論炒菜、炒肉或海鮮,放一茶匙,能大大提升味道,用來炒麵或撈麵更是一流 !!


江珧柱  150g/5 oz/約一飯碗
紹酒  一湯匙  
薑    二片

油  約二杯 
虾米  150g/約一又四份三杯 
紅蔥頭  175g/約十七個 
蒜頭  二大個 
小尖紅椒  十六隻 
青檸  二個, 搾汁
南洋馬拉盞膏  二茶匙 
水  二湯匙 
糖  一湯匙 
鹽  少許 
虾子  三湯匙 
1)  先預備好江珧柱:  珧柱洗淨,放碗中加熱水浸過面,下紹酒及薑片,用中火蒸一小時。待冷後壓成絲,備用。
2)  紅蔥、蒜頭分別切碎,紅辣椒切小段,抖去一部份椒籽。虾米浸軟,切粒備用。
3)  下油四分一杯於鑊內用中火加熱,加入紅蔥碎,不停鏟動,至變半透明,再加入蒜蓉和四份一杯油,繼續鏟動,至蔥蒜全熟,顏色轉淺棕,移出。
4)  中火熱鑊,下油半杯,改小火,下虾米粒,翻炒至香脆。馬拉盞膏加水調勻,下鑊與虾米同炒,下青檸汁、糖、鹽調味,再下紅椒、紅蔥、蒜,不停炒至均勻,鏟出。
5)  中火熱鑊,下油半杯,加入珧柱絲,改中小火,炒動至漸漸透明,且有油泡出現,將(4)的將有炒好材料全部倒下,兜炒均勻,加入虾子,再加些油,改為小火,炒勻,冷後入瓶便成美味的 X. O. 醬。


1)  如買不到南洋馬拉盞膏,可用虾醬代替,不用加水便可。如不吃虾醬的,可以不落,但鹽的份量要試味後自行調校。
2)  紅椒份量可按不同口味,自行調校。
3)  江珧柱用碎的或小的便可,不須用完整或大的,比較經濟。如將江珧柱用水浸過夜,可減少蒸的時間至半小時便可。
4)  要完全冷後才可入瓶。
5)  此份量可以做到幾瓶,放雪櫃可以保存很長時間。



  1. Hi Phoebe,
    I followed your recipe and it came out really really really good.It was very delicious to mix with noodle.I am so proud of myself to have home made XO sauce.Thank you.

  2. I am so happy for you !

  3. Hi Phoebe,



    1. Hi Ella,

  4. 蝦子德成行已經冇得買了,請問你現在用什麼代替蝦子整XO醬呢?

    1. 上次我去蟲草城見有,在雪櫃內。


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