What is XO Sauce?


XO sauce is a chunky seafood chili oil that was created in Hong Kong in the 1980s. It quickly gained popularity and has become a staple in many southern Chinese households and restaurants. Usually the tastiest versions of XO are made privately, at home - at one's leisure due to its expensive ingredients and its labor-intensive cooking methods. It is common for Chinese families to have friendly competitions about who's family's XO is the best.

So, what exactly is XO sauce and how did it get its name? In essence, XO sauce is a chunky, mildly spicy sauce that's balanced with natural saltiness and sweetness that is used in various Chinese dishes or simply as a condiment. Although classifying it as a condiment is an understatement.

Traditionally, it is made with dried scallops, dried shrimp and dry-cured ham. Other ingredients may include chilis, garlic and shallots. These ingredients are skillfully chopped, shredded and slow-cooked together, creating the ultimate umami - hearty flavor bomb that's to ever come out of Cantonese cuisine.

Now, it's name was inspired by XO (extra-old) Cognac, which was considered supremely luxurious at the time. For this reason, XO sauce received its name to quickly showcase its complexity, quality and luxury.

What's special about ours? We don't skimp on the good shit.ย