XO sauce is a modern special spicy seafood sauce with origins in Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine. It is made of of dried seafood (scallops, fish and shrimp) mixed with and chiles, onion, garlic and oil. Once the concoction of fancy seafood restaurants, it can be found on store shelves, produced by prominent Asian food companies such as Lee Kum Kee or Amoy.

It is named after XO brandies, and has been marketed in the same manner as fine liquor.

Typical ingredients include:

  • diced onion
  • dried scallops (conpoy)
  • fresh red chilies
  • ground black pepper
  • Jinhua or western ham
  • large dried shrimp, shelled
  • minced garlic
  • oil
  • salted cured fish
  • tiny dried shrimp, unshelled

See also: dim sum