Best XO Sauce Recipe – Lee Kum Kee Worthy!

by | Last updated Feb 7, 2021 | Chinese Recipe, Recipe, Sauces Recipe

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XO sauce is one of the best seafood sauce, packed with umami flavors, so potently delicious with a hint of spiciness. My XO sauce recipe is a mimic of the famous Lee Kum Kee brand and I am proud to tell you that it fares very close to it, with some of my friends say it is even better than them! Follow my detailed step by step guide here for a jar of homemade XO Sauce which would keep in your kitchen cabinet for about a month without using any preservative!

Hong Kong XO Sauce Recipe

A Little About XO Sauce

It is well known all over the world that XO Sauce is developed in Hong Kong for Cantonese Cuisine during the 1980s. A combination of roughly-chopped dried seafood which consists of dried scallop, shrimp, chilies, onions, and garlic.

As we all know, XO is a cognac, XO = extra old, a popular western liquor, and during that time considered to be chic in Hong Kong. XO sauce contains not a drop of cognac but the term XO was used as the term XO was denoted as luxury, prestige, and high quality.

XO sauce was eventually marketed in the same manner similar to XO cognac with similar packaging and color schemes.

XO Sauce


XO Sauce is an excellent condiment, whether to be pair as it is or to be used in cooking.

  • As a condiment, like a dip.
  • Stir fry with meat, vegetables, rice, noodles, etc.
  • Or to be used as topping for rice, noodle soup, etc.

Author have a say…

XO Sauce was invented in Hong Kong in the 1980s, it is a spicy seafood sauce. I am a fan of XO Sauce, so here I am presenting the most amazing XO Sauce recipe to you! (Also check out how I used it for noodles)

Source  :  Wiki

Hong Kong XO Sauce Recipe

Hong Kong XO Sauce Recipe
Ethan Wong
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5 from 2 votes

XO sauce is a very well known sauce in Chinese cuisine. Be careful not to burn the ingredients as they tend to burn easily. Take your time to cook this sauce and they will last for about a month at room temperature!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Condiments
Cuisine Chinese
Difficulty Medium
Servings 1 Jar ( 500g± )


  • 150 g Dried Scallop
  • 100 g Dried Shrimp
  • 80 g Chinese JinHua Ham (optional)
  • 150 g Shallot
  • 1 bulb Garlic
  • 5 pcs Chili (add or reduce depending on personal preferences)
  • 1 handful Dried Chili (add or reduce depending on personal preferences)
  • 400 g Cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp Abalone Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
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  • For dried scallop and dried shrimp, steam them for 30 minutes.
  • Then use a blender and blend the steamed dried shrimp into small pieces.
  • As for the steamed dried scallop, use a knife or spoon to press and strip it apart into fine strips.
  • For the JinHua Ham, cut into small cubes and set aside.
  • For shallot and garlic, peel off the skin.
  • For chili, cut off the stalk and remove the seed.
  • For dried chili, chop into small pieces and with a strainer, shake off the seeds.
  • With a blender, finely blend together shallot, garlic, chili, dried chili, and oil. Set aside.
  • Prepare the other ingredients accordingly.


  • Use a cooking pot or wok, add the blended ingredients in.
  • Fry with medium-low heat and continue stirring to prevent the bottom from burning.
  • Fry until they begin to turn yellow, switch off the heat.
  • With a strainer, separate the oil from the ingredients and set aside.
  • Then add blended dried shrimp into oil and fry at medium-low heat.
  • Fry until it begins to brown. Switch off the heat and strain off the dried shrimp from oil and set aside.
  • Add cubes JinHua Ham into oil and fry until browning. Set aside.
  • Add dried scallop strips and fry at medium-low heat.
  • Fry until they begin browning and strain off the dried scallop from oil and set aside.
  • Without turning on the heat, add sugar into oil and dissolve sugar.
  • Then add soy sauce, abalone sauce, and oyster sauce.
  • Switch on heat to lowest and thoroughly stir them up.
  • Add all the fried ingredients back in.
  • Thoroughly stir them together.
  • Remove from heat and transfer into a container.
  • Let it cool with ice bath.



Cooking Tips

  1. Large dried scallop is a lot pricier and does not significantly enhance the flavors, so it is not necessary to use large dried scallop.
  2. The amount of chili used can be adjusted to personal preferences.
  3. Be extra careful with the heat, they tend to burn very easily.


Serving : 500gCalories : 4527kcalCarbohydrates : 60gProtein : 125gFat : 427gSaturated Fat : 30gCholesterol : 1140mgSodium : 6268mgPotassium : 850mgFiber : 5gSugar : 43gVitamin A : 265IUVitamin C : 19mgCalcium : 456mgIron : 9mg
Allergy : Seafood
*These Nutritional Values have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration
Keyword Hong Kong XO Sauce, Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce, scallop sauce, shrimp sauce, XO Sauce

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  1. Yen

    5 stars
    Dear Ethan
    I made the XO sauce with your recipe and it turned out marvelous, even without the Jinhua ham. I used mortar and pestle to break the dried scallop into strips though. Your that friend is right, this taste even better than Lee Kum Kee’s. Everyone who tasted it fell in love with it. Thank you again.

    • Ethan Wong

      Hey Yen, I am glad to hear that you and your loved ones like my XO sauce recipe. Xoxo


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