This is not your common soy sauce, Sriracha sauce, teriyaki sauce or fish sauce that you put on sushi, dumplings or rice. I am talking about the king of all sauces: XO Sauce.
These two letters “XO” are more commonly known as a premier grade of cognac, a drink popularized in China as the symbol of luxury and prestige. You might wonder if the sauce contains any alcohol since its name is XO, but the answer is no.
In order to emphasize the sauce’s status and superb quality, the inventor and chef of Spring Moon Restaurant in Hong Kong, named it XO. Besides its name, it also comes with a fancy price tag: one 2.8-ounce bottle can cost anywhere upwards of $8.
XO Sauce is made up of dry seafood (like scallop, shrimp and fish) that have been immersed in soybean oil, seasoned with chili peppers, garlic and onions. People often use the sauce to cook or use as a side. Thanks to Lee Kum Kee (one of the most popular condiment brands in the world who bought the sauce), XO Sauce is widely available, and you can now get it easily from Amazon.
Growing up in China, I always had XO Sauce at home. As a loyal XO Sauce fanatic, I can eat almost everything with it. According to my expertise in years of eating XO Sauce, here are some of the best things to eat with the sauce, no cooking necessary.
Before you get started eating, check out these tips:
- Use only clean utensils to scoop out the sauce
- Store the sauce in a fridge after opening
- The sauce does not go well with dairy products
Put the sauce in the cup before pouring in the boiled water or microwaving. Just one spoonful will infuse rich flavors into your soup. It also adds a little bit of texture to the soup with tiny bits of fish, scallops and shrimps. Your taste buds will be so spoiled that you will never drink that bland noodle soup without XO sauce again. Bonus: here are a bunch more ways to spice up your basic instant ramen.
Salt and pepper is not the only way to eat hard boiled eggs (here is how to make a perfect hard boiled egg). Besides the rich flavor, the XO sauce and egg combo will also surprise you with their unique texture. Sprinkle the egg with some XO Sauce, your egg game just got a hundred times stronger.
XO Sauce + Rice = the bomb. Simply blend the sauce into the rice. Viola! And this does not limit to only pain rice. You can add the sauce to classic rice porridge, fried rice, Lo Mein, rice noodle and basically any leftover Chinese food (you get the vibe).
Just add some soy sauce to tofu and sprinkle XO Sauce on top of it, and you have a healthy and delicious meal. In terms of choices of tofu, you have the freedom to choose whichever you like, but my personal favorite is silken tofu. The pudding-like smoothness of the silken tofu will form a stark contrast with the sauce’s chewiness.