Recipe: XO Sauce with the Thermomix

I now understand why the XO sauce is the KING of all sauces.  Today I made my own XO sauce using my new gadget the Thermomix. I’ve adapted Tony Tan’s recipe found on Gourmet Traveller.

Please note: Before the Thermomix I would of never imagined making my own XO Sauce. What do people think? I am a busy person. But the TM makes it all so easy. Once again sorry for those who do not have one 😛

Before we talk about how to make XO sauce, here is a little history.

“Chinese gourmands call it the emperor of sauces, others the king. Chefs and restaurateurs jealously guard its recipe, and top-drawer Chinese restaurants proudly offer this classy condiment to their valued clients. XO sauce, to the ever-food-conscious Chinese, raises much comment in any Chinese restaurant worth its salt. Considering it’s consumed mostly as a condiment, dip or appetiser, and can cost some hundreds of dollars to prepare, this must be one of the most luxurious food indulgences in the world. It stands head and shoulders above the rest of Chinese sauces not only because of its expense but also because it represents the continued evolution of Chinese cuisine, based on a very sound knowledge of ingredients.

So what is XO sauce? Named after XO Cognac to symbolise wealth, status and exclusivity, this savoury, glossy relish is made essentially from fresh and dried chillies, shallots, garlic, top-quality dried scallops (conpoy), dried shrimps and Yunnan or Jinhua ham; these last three ingredients are especially appreciated for their intensity and complex flavour.” Source: Gourmet Traveller

Total time: 50min

  • Touch time: 10min
  • Cooking time 40min

Paleo | Gluten Free | Diary Free


  • 25g Dried Scallops (You can find this at the Chinese grocery. It’s usually behind the counter as it costs an arm and leg however is absolutely worth it).
  • 75g Dried prawns
  • (1 cup) vegetable oil, or just enough to cover all the ingredients. Note: I used coconut oil. This is only recommended if you are planning to use the sauce when cooking as coconut oil hardens in the fridge. Thought I’ll opt for the healthy version so we
  • 25g or about 20 Garlic
  • 75g or about 6 red shallots
  • 25g or about 6 Fresh long red chillies
  • 15g Dried long red chillies (soaked)
  • 5g Roasted shrimp paste
  • Sugar & Salt (to taste)


  1. Soak dried scallops and dried prawns separately in 125ml hot water each until plump.
  2. Drain prawns (reserve water) and chop for 8 seconds on speed 9.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (excluding oil, salt, sugar and dried shrimps) and chop for 8 seconds on speed 8.
  4. Drain scallops (reserve soaking), tear them into fine shreds, pat dry on absorbent paper. Then fry in pan for 1-2min on med-high heat until crisp. Be careful it may pop. Use lid.
  5. Add the scallops, oil and reserved water to TM bowl. Cook on Varoma for 40min on soft stir. Keep MC off so that steam can escape. The whole house will smell lovely. You can seat back and relax now 🙂
  6. Add sugar and salt to taste cook for another 5min on speed 1.


Considering dried scallops are so expensive, I prefer to still see my dried scallops. Hence I did not chop it in the TM. If you like, you can chop it with the rest of the ingredients after  pan frying it.

Do not use coconut oil if you want the sauce to be versatile. I thought I’ll be inventive and healthy. However once the sauce goes into the fridge it will be solid. This is fine for me as I am using it for my stir fries 😛

De-seed the chillies if you prefer a milder taste. For me I love HOT flavours. Seed and all when into the TM.

If you are planning on using coconut oil you have to use REFINED coconut oil where there is no coconut taste. We don’t want the taste spoiling the XO sauce 🙂


  • This recipe will last in the fridge for about 1 month.
  • This recipe makes around 500g.

Suggested use:

  • XO sauce pippies
  • XO sauce with long beans and minced pork.


Step 1

Step 2 – Cook for 40min Varoma soft stir without MC


2 thoughts on “Recipe: XO Sauce with the Thermomix

    • No worries. Hope you like it. Remember if using coconut oil it would be slightly more of a hassle as it solidifies in the fridge. Before using just take it out so it can defrost a little. 🙂

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