XO Sauce | Poor Man’s Umami Sauce

According to Pippa Middlehurst, this recipe for XO sauce is the poor man’s version. It makes use of more affordable produce packed full of umami flavour. If you do not like fishy things then this sauce is not for you.

Dumplings And Noodles Addictive Veggie Spring Rolls And XO Sauce
Addictive Veggie Spring Rolls And XO Sauce
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When Dave installed the dog door into the cottage he decided to go with a small one, suitable for our Jack Russell. This despite the fact that we had a fully grown Boxer at the time. Five years ago when be brought Scarlett home, she was smaller than our Jack Russells. And they taught her to use the door, which was the perfect size for her at the time. We then decided to put a large one into the scullery and she was very proud of the fact that she could make it work. But, she did not like the magnetic part and decided to chew it off. Eventually her enthusiasm for going through the flap at rapid speed caused it to break. And for years we have had an open gap. In December Scarlett grew taller and wider, and the puppy size door got a bit too small.

Today’s inspirational recipe from Lavender and Lime ♥ XO Sauce ♥ #LavenderAndLime Share on X

First she destroyed the flap, and eventually she could not fit through. This necessitated not only a new dog door, but an entire new door as well. The stable door would not take a large dog door due to its construction. Luckily for us, we already had the door. And Dave went and bought the same dog door we had in the scullery. This turned out to be a good thing. Once the door was cut, sanded and sealed it was hung. And the new flap installed. But it is too high for the Jack Russell to use coming back into the house. And Scarlett refused to use it. Molly has no fear and over the weekend Dave swapped the two around. This way Scarlett won’t cry at night to be let in or out. And Molly will teach her to use the one in the scullery.

XO Sauce

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XO Sauce

This umami sauce is worth the effort it takes to make
Recipe Category: Sauces
All Rights Reserved: Adapted from Dumplings and Noodles page 181


  • 50 g dried shrimps
  • boiling water for the shrimps and mushrooms
  • 50 mls Shaoxing rice wine, divided
  • 25 g dried forest mushrooms
  • 250 mls canola oil
  • 40 g proscuitto, sliced
  • 2 mild chillies, sliced
  • 4 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 25 mls oyster sauce
  • 7.5 mls soy sauce
  • 7.5 mls fish sauce
  • 15 mls coconut sugar
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper
  • 15 g baked sun dried onions, finely chopped
  • 15 mls chilli flakes


  • Place the shrimps into a bowl cover with boiling water and add 15mls of the rice wine
  • Set aside to soak for 45 minutes
  • Place the mushrooms into a bowl and cover with boiling water
  • Set aside to soak for 45 minutes
  • Drain the shrimps, reserving the liquid, finely chop and set aside
  • Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid, finely chop and set aside
  • Pour the oil into a heavy bottomed saucepan
  • Bring up to 120° Celsius over a medium to high temperature
  • Add the mushrooms and leave to cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the shrimps, reduce the temperature slightly and leave to cook for 10 minutes
  • Add the proscuitto, making sure the slices are separated, and leave to cook for 2 minutes
  • Pour everything through a fine strainer, into a bowl, reserving the oil
  • Pour the oil back into the saucepan, add the chillies and fry for 2 minutes
  • Add the ginger and leave to cook for 2 minutes
  • Reduce the temperature slightly, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, being sure not to colour it
  • Strain into the bowl with the shrimps, reserving the oil
  • Pour the soaking liquid from the shrimps and mushrooms into a small saucepan
  • Add the rest of the rice wine, as well as the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and pepper
  • Stir to combine, bring to a simmer over a medium temperature and leave to reduce by half
  • Add the shrimp mixture, stir to combine and remove from the heat
  • Place the pan with the oil back onto a medium to low temperature and when the oil is warm, add the shrimp mixture
  • Cook until fragrant then remove from the heat
  • Add the onions and chilli flakes and mix to combine
  • At this stage, I blitzed the sauce using a stick blender but you don't have to
  • Place into a sterilized glass jar and allow to cool before sealing
  • Place into the fridge and use as needed, within 3 months


See this post on how I sterilize my glass jars.
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime July 26:

Do you have dogs, and if so, do you have a dog door for them?

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