One of the most popular sauce options for the Mai Bowl.
1/2 cup dried shrimp
Water, as needed
1/2 cup dried scallops
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Chinese bacon, country ham, or prosciutto
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Chinese sausage
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh peeled ginger
3 star anise
1/2 stick cinnamon
Coarse salt, to taste
1/4 cup soy sauce
1. Place dried shrimp in a medium bowl; add enough water to cover by at least 1 inch. Repeat process with scallops; let stand overnight.
2. Drain dried shrimp and scallops; discard liquid and coarsely chop each. Transfer shrimp to bowl of a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Set aside. Repeat process with scallops, bacon and sausage; set each aside.
3. Heat 1 cup canola oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 30 seconds. Add crushed red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute more. Add garlic, ginger, star anise and cinnamon; stir to combine.
4. Increase heat to high; season with salt and add soy sauce. Add sausage, bacon, shrimp and scallops, stirring after each addition. Add remaining 1/2 cup oil; reduce heat to low and simmer until oil is infused, about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and let cool before transferring to an airtight container. XO sauce may be kept refrigerated, up to 1 month.