Chefs' Recipes

Prawns barbecued in XO sauce

A nod to the classic Australian cliché of 'shrimp on the barbie' doused with garlicky XO sauce.
Prawns barbecued in XO sauce

Prawns barbecued in XO sauce

Luke Burgess

“A nod to the old ‘shrimp on the barbie’ cliché. I love clichés,” says Shaun Kelly. “Don’t worry if there’s too much XO sauce – it keeps well and does a good job of making most things better. Peel the prawns or leave the shells on – I prefer them shell on, but it’s your call.” Start a day ahead to soak the prawns and scallops.


XO sauce



1.For XO sauce, soak prawns and scallops in separate bowls overnight in 125ml cold water, then drain, reserving liquid, and finely chop prawns and shred scallops. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat, add prawns and stir-fry until golden (1-2 minutes). Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add scallops and stir-fry until golden (1-2 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and add to prawns. Add garlic and shallot to oil and stir-fry until just coloured (2-3 minutes), then transfer to prawn mixture with a slotted spoon. Add saucisson and chillies to wok, fry for a moment, then add shrimp paste, prawn mixture and reserved soaking liquid (be careful, hot oil will bubble and spit) and stir occasionally until fragrant and almost all the water evaporates (25-30 minutes). Stir in bottarga, transfer to a sterilised jar (see cook’s notes p192), cool and refrigerate until required. Makes about 375ml. XO sauce will keep for up to a month.
2.Soak bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes and heat a barbecue to hot. Thread prawns onto skewers, brush with oil from the top of the XO jar and marinate for 30 minutes, then grill until pink (5-6 minutes). Serve with more XO sauce.

Dried prawns, dried scallops and shrimp paste are available from Asian groceries. To roast shrimp paste, wrap in foil and roast at 200C until fragrant (4-5 minutes). Bottarga is available from select fishmongers


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