There are many different stories pertaining to how XO sauce was invented, with the most popular being how famous food critic and writer Wang Tingzhi reinvented shrimp paste during his consultation for The Peninsula’s Spring Moon in 1986. Back then, the restaurant's XO sauce was just a staple sauce that was given complimentary to customers who dines there, but it ended up being so popular that they decided to put it up for sale. So, if you want to have a taste of the OG XO sauce, get down to Spring Moon or order it online at The Peninsula Boutique here. Bear in mind that the price of the sauce is, unsurprisingly, at the higher end ($413) – but it's so good!
As we start ordering our Chinese New Year puddings and turnip cakes, it’s all Kung Hei Fat Choi from here on out. So, we felt it appropriate to give you a heads up on the best condiment to pair it with – XO sauce. This Hong Kong invention is a local favourite but has since become a mainstay in many households. Named after XO cognac, the sauce mainly consists of dried seafood, including scallops and shrimps, and salty ham. The spicy and savoury taste comes from slowly frying the seafood with chilli peppers, onions, and garlic. But, since most of us don’t have the time, nor the kitchen space, to make it ourselves, keep reading for the ones worth trying this season.
RECOMMENDED: If you prefer to head out for your CNY dinner, please do so safely, and check out our list of the best Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong.