Italian-Style XO Sauce

Italian-Style XO Sauce

Italian-Style XO Sauce

Prep Time
10 Minutes
Cook Time
8 Minutes
Intensely sweet, salty and smoky, XO sauce packs some serious umami flavour. Originating in Hong Kong, this Italian take uses Mediterranean-inspired ingredients like anchovy paste, garlic paste and prosciutto ham to pack a savoury punch in everything from pasta to meat dishes. Makes about 8 (2 tablespoon) servings.
  • 6 tablespoon (3 ounces) oil

  • 75 grams prosciutto ham, thinly sliced into 2 cm (½”) long strips

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste

  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in oil, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon Oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon chillies crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon Rosemary , , crushed

Cooking tip
  1. Try Italian-Style XO Sauce in this recipe for Pork & Broccolini Stir-Fry. 
  2. XO sauce, the iconic condiment, was first created in Hong Kong. Meant to impress, it is known to be a luxury blend typically made with dried shrimp and scallops, Chinese dry-cured ham, garlic and various chiles. The ingredients, combined in a base of oil, create an intense sweet, salty, rich umami flavour.


  • 1 Heat the oil in large pan on medium heat, add prosciutto and cook for 2 minutes, or just until crispy. Remove prosciutto from oil using slotted spoon. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.
  • 2 Reduce heat to low and add onions to pan. Cook for 2 minutes, or until onions begin to soften. Add garlic, anchovy paste and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, Oregano, Crushed Chillies and Rosemary. Cook for 30 seconds.
  • 3 Return cooked prosciutto to the pan and cook for a further 1 minute. Remove mixture from pan. Allow to cool to room temperature before using. Store any left overs in an airtight container in refrigerator.