If you caught this week’s epic My Kitchen Rules finale, then you would’ve seen champions Leigh & Jennifer serving up Scallops in XO Sauce. Though they had their fair share of difficulties putting it together, the dish was a wild success, and the judges universally praised the XO Sauce. Rather make it for yourself than read about it? Then read on…
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour, 20 mins
- peanut oil, for deep frying
- 12 large scallops, roe off
- micro coriander, to garnish
- 10g dried shrimp
- 10g dried scallop
- 100ml peanut oil
- 2 dried long chillies, halved, seeds removed
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 eschallots, peeled, halved
- ½ fresh long red chilli, chopped
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 3 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 1 slices streaky bacon, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp chilli prawn paste
- ¼ tsp salt
Stir fry sauce
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 30ml salt-reduced chicken stock
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- ¼ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp cornflour dissolved in 1 tbsp water
- 2 tdp peanut oil
- ¼ tsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, bruised
- 1 bunch English spinach, leaves washed and dried
- To make XO sauce, soak the dried shrimp and scallops separately, each in 125ml of hot water, for about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain shrimp and chop very finely (discard soaking water). Drain scallops and reserve soaking water. Place scallops on a board and press down with back of a spoon to break down and shred fibres.
- Heat 60ml of the peanut oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Cook dried chillies for 30 seconds. Cool mixture to room temperature.
- Place chillies and oil in a small processor with garlic, eschallots and fresh chilli. Process to form a paste.
- Heat remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook paste for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in shrimp and sugar. Stir in scallops, prosciutto and bacon. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Add reserved scallop soaking liquid and remaining ingredients. Gently simmer, on lowest heat, stirring frequently (to prevent it catching on base of pan), for 1 hour. Season.
- To make stir fry sauce, heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Stir-fry garlic for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients along with half of the XO sauce. Simmer for about 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer to 180C. Cook scallops in three batches for 45 seconds. Drain on absorbent paper. Add to sauce in wok. Cook for 1 minute.
- To cook spinach, heat oils and garlic in a wok over medium heat until fragrant then remove garlic. Add spinach. Stir-fry for 1 minutes or until wilted.
- Divide spinach among serving plates. Top with scallops and sauce. Garnish with micro coriander.
- Store leftover XO sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month. Add to stir fries.
- Dried shrimps and scallops are available from Asian grocers. Dried scallops are a premium product and are often kept behind the counter.
- Exact cooking time of scallops will depend on their thickness. Adjust time accordingly.