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Sep 26, 2009 08:23 PM

XO Sauce

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 Anybody had any experience with using this stuff when it's out of date?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.

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  1. 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
    Vegetable oil
    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.

    1. It's fine. I'd eat it without hesitation.

      1. Since it's from China, it was probably past date before it was even shipped. Avoid it and make your own. This recipe will make enough for months and it's probably better than the lead laden crap in the bottle you bought...

        7 Replies
        1. re: hankstramm

          Thanks all - I've decided to discard it...just isn't worth getting sick. And hankstramm, your recipe sounds great.

          1. re: hankstramm

            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.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Some jars that I've looked at (but not tried) use dried scallops.

                As Chinese condiments/sauces go, XO sauce is one of the more expensive ones, something like $5 for a small jar of LKK brand.

                I'm surprised at the high proportion of chiles in the above recipe, 3 lbs?

                1. re: paulj

                  Looking at the recipe again, I think you're right paulj.

                  The amount of chilies is wrong. It should probably be "150 grams" and not "1.5kg"

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    You might be right about the chili proportion. I never made this in that amount--the recipe is a restaurant sized version that makes enough for a family to use in a year. I probably should have mentioned that.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  thanks! because they're so tiny I just assumed they had their shells.

            1. They do have their shells (i.e. unshelled). Also, I've seen the dry scallops in it too.