"This is a simple dish with a complex condiment that turns any vegetable into a standout," says Analiese Gregory, chef at Hobart's Franklin restaurant. "I started making XO to use up dried squid and abalone trimmings." Gregory tops this with wild herbs. Start a day ahead to soak seafood.
- 1 small firm cabbage, preferably sugarloaf
- Vegetable oil, for brushing
- 80 gm dried scallop (see note)
- 50 gm dried shrimp (see note)
- 300 ml Shaoxing wine
- 250 gm golden shallots, coarsely chopped
- 50 gm long red chilli, chopped
- 50 gm garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 50 gm ginger, coarsely chopped
- 30 gm caster sugar
- 300 ml vegetable oil
- 1 small piece guanciale or pancetta rind
- 1For XO sauce, combine dried seafood with Shaoxing in a bowl and leave in the fridge overnight to soak. Drain, reserving liquid. Blend scallops and shrimp in a food processor to fine shreds and transfer to a saucepan. Process shallot, chilli, garlic and ginger until finely chopped, then transfer to the same saucepan. Add sugar, oil, guanciale and reserved Shaoxing. Cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates and a dark, rich and oily sauce forms (2-2½ hours).
- 2Preheat a woodfired barbecue until it burns down to hot, white-ashed coals. Halve cabbage through the core, brush with oil and place, cut-side down, in a hot cast-iron pan placed directly on coals. Cook until charred on cut sides and tender when pierced with a knife (25-40 minutes). Cover with XO sauce and serve.
Dried scallop and shrimp are available from Asian grocers.
Wine suggestions 2016 Green Island chardonnay, Birchs
Bay, Tasmania; 2009 Jean-Pierre Robinot L'Ange Vin "Enuaj" chenin blanc, Loire Valley, France. Wine suggestion by Forbes Appleby.