XO octopus

Recipe XO octopus

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a shared plate


40g dried scallops
25g dried shrimp
125ml Shaoxing wine
5 large red chillies, seeded
2 garlic cloves
1 large red shallot
140ml peanut oil
2 dried red chillies
40g smoked bacon, rind removed, finely diced
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar

12 baby octopus, cleaned
Olive oil

make xo sauce

Place dried shrimp and scallops in medium bowl and cover with the Shaoxing wine. Cover with cling wrap and leave in refrigerator overnight.

Drain shrimp and scallops, reserving liquid. Place into a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb. Set aside.

Place large red chillies, garlic and shallots in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

Heat peanut oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add dried chillies and cook for 30 seconds each side to blister and slightly blacken. Remove chillies with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Reserve oil in wok.

Reduce heat to medium, add chilli, garlic and shallot mixture and bacon to oil. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 3 minutes to cook out the flavours.

Add shrimp and scallop mixture and cook for 6 minutes, stirring regularly (the oil should leach out). Add reserved soaking liquid from both the shrimp and scallops. Stir for 3 minutes to cook out the wine, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Add soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and the blistered dried chillies and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

cook octopus

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Plunge octopus in small batched into the boiling water for 10-20 second intervals. Repeat 3 times until tentacles have curled up.

Return water to a gentle simmer, add all octopus and cook for 45 minutes or until tender. Remove octopus from water and drain.

Heat barbecue grill over high heat. Brush with olive oil then cook octopus for 1 minute on either side until slightly charred. Alternatively, cook octopus in a large frying pan over high heat.

Place octopus on a serving platter and drizzle over XO sauce. Serve immediately.