Just got back from the east coast where I picked up a small jar of extra hot XO sauce. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that the label says best before 2/09. Anybody had any experience with using this stuff when it's out of date? I know most products last longer than the expiration date, but since this is something from China, I have some concerns.
Probably fine, but I'd still toss it. You don't want to eat anything from China anyway. Here's a very good authentic recipe for XO:
1.5kg long red chillies (chilli peppers), de-seeded & chopped
2 large knobs ginger, chopped
15 cloves garlic, chopped
100g dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 2 hours
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
1 long green shallot (scallion), chopped
Drain the shrimp and chop.
Blend the chillies, ginger, garlic, shrimp, oil, salt and sugar together.
Place all in a large pot and cook out until the raw garlic flavour is gone (about 1 hour). Cook slowly so as not to caramelise.
Finish with the sliced shallot.
Perfect with steamed shellfish or in a stir fry.
I bought some too and have been reluctant to use it. It's been hanging around awhile now. So I'd like to make this recipe. My question is about the dried shrimp. What happens to the shells? I've read that you can crack a tooth on little shell fragments. (I've had heroic dental work.) I think it was on that website called Chez Pim and she said that's why you should "mortar and pestle" them, never grind in a blender or fp.