"I omit the pork component in my XO," says Kylie Kwong. "But of course, add it if you wish." Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the shrimp and scallop for the XO sauce. XO sauce makes more than you need, but will keep refrigerated for a month.
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 4-6 eggs
- Thinly sliced spring onions and chillies (optional), to serve
- 55 gm dried shrimp
- 80 gm dried scallops
- 250 ml Shaoxing wine
- 11 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
- 7 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 375 ml (1½ cups) peanut oil
- 3 dried small red chillies
- 3 tsp organic tamari
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1For XO sauce, combine dried shrimp and dried scallops in a small bowl and cover with Shaoxing (liquid needs to completely cover shrimp and scallops completely). Cover with plastic wrap and leave to soak in the refrigerator overnight.
- 2Drain and reserve liquid. Mix shrimp and scallops together, and process in a food processor until finely shredded. Remove and set aside. Add chopped chilli, garlic and shallot, and process until finely chopped. Remove and set aside.
- 3Heat peanut oil in a wok over high heat until it begins to shimmer slightly, then add dried chillies and cook for 30 seconds on each side to blister and slightly blacken. Remove chillies with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve oil in wok.
- 4Reduce heat to medium, add chilli, garlic and shallot mixture to oil (be careful, hot oil will spit). Simmer, stirring regularly, to cook out the flavours (3 minutes). Add shrimp and scallop mixture and cook, stirring regularly so the sauce doesn't catch on the base of the wok, until the oil separates out (6 minutes).
- 5Add reserved soaking liquid, stir gently to cook out the wine (3 minutes), then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavours are melded and liquid is reduced (15 minutes). Add tamari, sugar and blistered chillies and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and cool. XO sauce will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a month – the flavours will intensify over this time. If serving it as a condiment, be sure to remove required amount from the refrigerator half an hour before serving.
- 6Heat oil in a wok until 190°C. Crack eggs into a bowl and slide into hot oil in batches (2-3 at a time; be careful, hot oil will spit), then deep-fry, turning occasionally with a wok shovel or spatula, until golden brown and crisp (20-30 seconds). Transfer to plates and blot with paper towels. Spoon XO sauce over to taste and serve scattered with spring onion and chilli.