XO sauce is one of the most adaptable Asian condiments you can keep in your fridge. Great as a stir- fry sauce or as a chilli sauce on the side, it's also delicious over steamed chicken with ginger and shallots.
60ml vegetable oil
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
small knob ginger, finely grated
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1cm-thick pieces
1kg wagyu oyster blade, cut into 2cm pieces
⅓ cup plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 cups fresh chicken stock
2 tbsp Chinese dark mushroom soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese light soy sauce
2 tsp rock sugar
1 whole star anise
1 whole cinnamon stick
freshly ground black pepper
XO chilli sauce
1 heaped tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 2 hours
750g long red chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
1 small knob fresh ginger, chopped
7 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1½ tsp sea salt
3 tsp caster sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 long green shallots, chopped
For the XO chilli sauce, drain the shrimp and chop roughly. In a food processor, blend shrimp, chillies, ginger, garlic, salt and sugar together, then slowly add oil. Transfer sauce to a large saucepan and cook slowly over a low heat for about 1 hour. Remove from heat and stir in chopped green shallot. Set aside.
Heat 20ml oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add onion, garlic, ginger and salt, and cook over a low-medium heat for 8 minutes or until soft. Remove onion mixture from pan and set aside. Heat 20ml oil and pan-fry shiitakes on high heat until golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
Place beef in seasoned flour and toss to coat. Return pan to a high heat with remaining 20ml oil and brown meat in batches. Remove and put to one side.
Deglaze pan with Shaoxing wine then add chicken stock, dark and light soy sauces, rock sugar, star anise and cinnamon. Bring to simmer, check seasoning and return beef, shiitakes and onion mixture to pan. Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally until beef is tender and liquid has thickened. Add pepper and check seasoning. Remove star anise and cinnamon and reserve to use as a garnish, if desired. Serve with XO sauce and steamed rice.
Note: The XO sauce recipe will make about 600ml. The remainder will keep well in a jar in the fridge.