There is no standard recipe of XO sauce. It is mainly made of roughly chopped dried scallop (conpoy), dried shrimp, chilli, and dry-cured Jinhua Ham, which is named after Jinhua city, in the middle of Zhejiang Province. If you have difficulty to find it, then use other ham with the similar quality. Food chemistry: Secrets of the Jinhua ham
- Soften the dried scallops in warm water. Drain them well and work them into rough shreds with a fork. Or pulse the dried scallops with an electric mixer if you prefer thin shreds of conpoy.
- Soak the dried shrimp, let drain and mince finely. Rinse squid and microwave for 1 minute with medium heat. Turn and heat one more minute. Thinly tear them off. Dice ham into fine cubes. Chop garlic and dry chillies. Shred the shallots and deep-fry them until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- Heat the same skillet with the rest of oil on high. Stir in minced garlic until fragrant. Add in dried shrimp, chillies, ham, shallots, conpoy,squid and eel floss. Turn the heat slower and keep stirring until the sauce brings fine aromatic and tasty smell. Now season the mixture and continue to cook the mixture has turned into golden brown. After the XO sauce cooling down store it completely covered with oil in a sealed container in the refrigerator, or XO sauce would have lost its aroma and freshness soon. XO sauce not only can be served as a condiment, but also be used in various stir-fries.